Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chateau Vincennes

Chateau Vincennes was started by Charles V in the 14th centrury when he built the keep as his personal bolt hole.  It was out in the woods then, but it's now located in a Paris suburb. 

Subsequent medieval kings extended it into a complete castle with a perimeter wall, towers, moat and chappel.  The model shows it at this stage.

The keep is the highest medieval castle in France.

Louis XIV built a residential chateau in the south end before getting bored and moving on to Versailles.

Napoleon had all but one of the towers reduced in hieght to be the same as the walls to make it more defensible against cannon & used it as an arsenal.  Even so the walls and moat are impressive.

The place was used as a prison for much of the time between Louis' departure and WWII.  The walls in the keep are covered in prisoner's grafiti.  Famous prisoners included the Marquis de Sade, and the Duc d'Enghien, who Napoleon had shot in the moat.

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