Chateau de Vincennes

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(CC) Photo: Etienne Cazin
The donjon and moat at the Chateau de Vincennes

The Chateau de Vincennes is a medieval castle built by the Kings of France as a defense element of Paris, capital of their kingdom.

Located in the eastern side of Paris, Vincennes is complementary of the Chateau du Louvre, another medieval castle, once in the western side (and to-day in the center of the town).

Its huge dimensions 330m x 175m, makes Vincennes the largest royal medieval castle existing in France. Its 50m high donjon is the highest donjon remaining in Europa.

The Chateau de Vincennes was built inside a royal hunting forest which became the Bois de Vincennes (opposite to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris).

The first castle, the small ancient Capetian manor, probably dates back to the middle of the 12th century. The donjon, the enceinte with its six towers dates back to the 14th century. The Holy Chaptel, of gothic style, founded in 1379 was inaugurated only in 1552. The classic palaces were added in the 16th and 17th centuries.