French Living Blog II: Château de Pierrefonds

in travelfeed •  14 days ago  (edited)


In order to take advantage of our time in France, my wife and I plan to tour around the country whenever we are able, and to take in as much of the culture and sites as we can along the way.

Our first little adventure occured two weekends ago when we toured the Château de Pierrefonds.

Brief History and Tour


The castle was built in 1372-1407 by Duke Louis of Orléans to assist him in battle for royal supremacy against the Duke of Burgundy.

With the aid of his castle, Louis of Orléans defeated the Duke of Burgundy and took control of the trade routes between Burgundy and Flanders.


With its extremely high walls, draw bridge, large towers, and its notched arrowslit windows, the château de Pierrefonds is not just a pallace, but a true military fortress.


The castle holds the high ground, sitting on top of a large hill within a large wooded lot. Invaders could be seen from above for some distance. A long winding walkway brings visitors to the main gate which would also give soldiers within the castle plenty of time to prepare for an oncoming attack.


After entering the outerwall and main gate (which acted as strongholds for archers) visitors could only access the castle courtyard by crossing a narrow drawbridge. Though the drawbridge has railings today for safety reasons, I doubt that they would have existed when the castle was in full military opperation. As such, the inner courtyard could only be accessed by a few men at a time, which acted as a defensive measure itself.


Unlike the castle's plain utiliarian exterior, the courtyard of the château is decorated in an ornate fashion. Statues, gargoyles and other extravagant details flourish the inner surroundings.


Here we see a stone rain water spout carved in the form of an alligator. The image is followed by an image of one of four monster-esc statues that are perched in front of the main doors of one of the inner buildings.


The statue appears to be a cross between a snake (head), lion (body) and alligator (rear end and tail). Mythical creature carvings are a common site within the courtyard.


Here we see the castle church with its gothic style architecture and ornately decorated windows. Stained glass can be seen inside the church, though I did not take any pictures of it.


More History


The original castle was actually dismantled by King Louis XIII a few hundred years ago so that it could not by used against him by his enemies. The towers were all but destroyed and the castle was forgotten about for nearly 200 years.

A painting of the destroyed castle hung on one of the walls inside.


The castle was later bought by Napolean I in 1810 and refurbished by Emperor Napolean III in 1857 who wanted to turn it into his imperial residence. However, the project was never completed and it eventually became a museum in 1867.


Work continued on the castle for several decades until it was eventually restored in all of its wonder - and then some.


The castle is designed with classical, medieval and gothic architectural features, which make it truely unique.

Interestingly, inside the castle are many of the original (or perhaps replicas) of the architectural plans, complete with choice selections for many of the final decorations. They really reminded me of a "home decor" catalogue, where the future owner of the palace would have been given a few choices in how his future home would be decorated.


I didn't take many photos of inside the castle, which mostly consisted of empty or sparsley decorated rooms. But, I did take a few shots of some of the more interesting sites to see.


The picture above is of the "Worthies Room." Here the lord would dispense justice. At the far end of the room rests two large fireplaces and a mantle with nine worthy women beautifully carved into it, including the Queen of Babylon and her "ladies in waiting."


Below is an image of the privy. A mens and a womens toilet sat within a small room in two corners of a much larger room.


In the basement was the crypt. It was full of replicas of various prominant figures whom have since passed away, including members of several royal families and high ranking generals and church officials.



And that basically concludes our tour of the Château de Pierrefonds. Thanks for reading.

If you are interested in reading my French living blog I: Home Town Please click the link.

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Beautiful post with great photos. I've been to Pierrefonds and liked it as much as you did. Interesting fact: This is where they filmed much of the BBC "Merlin" series ( which played across the pond as well AFAIK.

If you loved Pierrefonds I'm sure you and your wife will like Guédelon, where you can actually watch how they're building a medieval castle:

I understand you live in Senlis N of Paris. From there it's only 200-odd klicks, i.e. 3 hours, down the A6. You can incorporate Auxerre in the trip as well, which has better accomodations and is a neat town on the river Yonne. Great food, superb wines as well ;-) Now is the perfect time 'cause it's not so freakin' hot anymore. Enjoy!

Photo: Stained glass window in Pierrefonds

That's interesting. I never watched the series but the castle would be a great place to film such a show. Guédelon sounds cool as well. I'll have to add that to the list of places to visit.
Nice photo. That's a neat perspective - looking put into the courtyard from inside. Very nice

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castle would be a great place to film such a show

If you watch "Versailles" on Netflix (recommend it!) you'll recognize some portions of Pierrefonds as well :-)

I haven't seen that but I'll check it out. I'm currently looking for a new Netflix show. Thanks!

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Pierrefonds kinda looks like Hagworts in Harry Potter... That'll be interesting to see.

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Great photos, looks like an amazing place to visit.

Yeah it was quite the place. Thanks for the comment and support :)

A cultural feast! :D

That Worthies Room is quite impressive @leaky20.

I look forward to seeing many more blogs like this. But, I am also looking forward to a French-cuisine post, one of these days ;)

I've actually been learning a few French recipes. Maybe I will start posting them as well, once I get them perfected

Thanks for the comment :)

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@leaky20, HELP! :D

I have been reading some papers on NDEs (now, I am actually going to make it the topic of this week's post). They reminded me of something you told me 1 year ago:

However, I am open to the idea that consciousness can (in some cases) connect into a higher or collective consciousness. I'm open to that idea. There is some weird and cool quantum mechanics research that "may" suggest that (i.e. entanglement theory...etc). My understanding of that topic is limited though.


I feel perturbed! 😂

I'm sorry for posting this here. It's just because I thought of what you said... :)

Please do post what results from your French recipes! I am curious already.

You guys take care.
Bye for now.

Do you mean that you feel perturbed by the the quantum mechanics research or by what I said? Ahaha I'm slightly confused.

It sounds like it's going to be an interesting article. I look forward to reading it!

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By both! 😂
Also, just read your post on Death + Personal experience of psylocibin.
Anyways ... to be continued.

Better get on with my writing :)

You two have a lovely evening.

Well someone once said that if quantum mechanics makes sense to you then you don't understand quantum mechanics lol. Nothing about it really makes sense. Also, I often say weird things, many of which do not make sense so I guess I understand your feeling hahahaha.
Good luck with the writing!

Also, I often say weird things, many of which do not make sense so I guess I understand your feeling hahahaha.


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Okay, I definitely will for future posts. Thanks for the tip! :)

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Awesome thank you. I appreciate that :)

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Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it!

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Wow! Those castles look just like the ones in my mind. I've never seen a real European castle before. The only castles I've seen in real life are the ones in Japan like in Kyoto and Osaka. There's also the Kyoungbok Palace in South Korea. I've course I've been there before. This is my 24th year in Korea.

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Yeah I've just started to experience castles here in Europe. Some are just like the ones from fairy tales. The ones in Japan and Korea would be neat to see. They are probably much different then the European ones.

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Oh very much so. Very different indeed. The castles in your pictures sure do look like thoses in fairy tales, like the one in the movie Shrek! They're so crafted in very fine detail, and to have that kind of skill 1000's of years ago with less technology than today never ceases to amaze me.

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It is very amazing indeed :)

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