Friday, September 12, 2008

A cool château!


On the eastern side of Paris there is a massive fortress with an impressive donjon called Le Château de Vincennes. It may not be as big and prestigious as the one of Versailles, but it's definitely worth a visit (it's easy to get there by metro). At the origin - in 1150! - it was just a simple hunting lodge (built for Louis the VIIth) and then it was turned into a castle over the centuries - including a large moat in which several people (such as spy Mata Hari, Duke of Enghien and Nazi hostages) were executed. The photo I took last night shows the main entrance door (you can have a global look of the Château lay out on the official site).

41 comments:

  1. Eric, That is breathtaking. What a lovely castle. Maybe it is just because it was taken at night. It is just beautiful.

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  2. Are you sure this is not Chez Eric in Passage ____ ? (He's so humble, n'est-ce pas?)

    I should go see this chateau. Somebody send me some euros, ok?

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  3. The global look of the Chateau lay out on the official site is fantastic...Merci Eric

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  4. It looks like a model castel. Or a doll's house. Due to the light and the frame, probably.

    Yes Jeff, that's Eric house in Passage BIIIIIIIIIIP. Exactly. Or at least, it really looks like, that's amazing! ;)
    I'll save some euros and send them to you.

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  5. Guille, I thought the same thing. It looks like a miniature. I think it may be due to the light, and the fact that there are no people in the photo.

    I got lost in the website for a while! What a remarkable place. Where exactly were you perched for the photo, Eric? You seem to be at a high level. Can just anyone go there, or where you a VIP?

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  6. Monica (me agaian, still not able to log in or post my pix)September 12, 2008 at 12:30:00 AM GMT+2

    I love it when you post historical facts!!!

    Wonderful shot!

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  7. Yes, I thought the same thing Guille and Petrea! It is just so pristine that it must be a miniature. But then I remembered that this is Paris, where everything is pristine.

    Good shot, Eric!

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  8. What a gorgeous shot of a remarkable building. I, too, thought it looked like a miniature. It's lovely.

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  9. Suzy, everything is pristine in Paris. Except walls, full of graffitis. LOL

    Monica you're too cute: It's as if you shouted so that we hear you! :)

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  10. So we all thought the same thing, including me. I was sure Eric was going to say that this was a model in the Carnavalet museum.
    So kudos, Eric. Did you have to wait to have no people in the shot? And were you hoping to fool us that way?

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  11. Guille, that was sort of my intention! ;-)
    Just replied your message on FB.

    Miss you too!!

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  12. It's perfectly lovely. Well, except for the part about the executions. But the light and symmetry are captivating.

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  13. Hey, has anybody seen that GF crown? I left one carmel apple in it! What?!? Gramma Ann snagged it! Oh well! The apple will just have to be my gift to you Gramma. ;-)

    I was fooled by this photo, Eric. Like the others, I thought this was a French model (no, not the Bardot as in Bridget kind). It's also not quite like the plastic model cars and airplanes I used to build, but hey, this one comes with a moat! I always imagined living in a place with a moat. Of course, I better be careful what I wish for. We're in a deluge right now as I type this...it could happen. I enjoyed the video about this old hunting lodge, too! ;-)

    Monica...good to hear a shout out from you. ;-) Hopefully, you'll be up and running soon.

    So Gramma, what are you adding to this sweet GF crown? :-)

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  14. It's a gorgeous building and you have captured the light and textures beautifully..as usual. :)

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  15. Gosh, I though this was already pretty big, then I went to the link and discovered that it's tiny compared to the whole complex!

    Like most people so far, I also thought it was a scale model at first. Like those historical recreations under glass found in museums. Must be the lighting — it's lovely. :)

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  16. Coltrane, I loved the gooey apple...yummy! Lots of sparkles~~~~~

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  17. .. lovely photo, almost surreal

    .. I recall walking the grounds of the Le Château de Vincennes back in March of 2005 under rare conditions for Paris. There was snow on the ground. That was a sight I will not forget.

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  18. Christie's going to want to show this one to her husband. He's been wanting a moat.

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  19. Well, I did not recognize it!!! I don't think it was that color before! :) I don't remember visiting but I'm pretty sure I went through there a couple of times to get to the university (well, that was before they moved it to St. Denis). Wow, that's a blast from the past. I sure would *never* have recognized it, all cleaned up. Great night shot!

    (USELAINE, thanks for the virtual library tip the other day.)

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  20. Alexa - I thought it was in the Musee Carnavalet, too. (One of my favorite museums.) I think it looks like a miniature because the windows are out of the normal proportion to the doors as well as the lighting. They are as high as the doors and I'm reminded of how Thomas Jefferson did the reverse kind of thing when he designed Monticello so that it would look like one story when it's actually two.

    Congratulations GF Gramma Ann! What else do you have up there besides the carmel apple core?!
    Enjoy the fruits of your success!! : )

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  21. Eric -- I love this photo and I'm adding this trip to my itinerary for November. I didn't realize it was so close! Woohoo!! Thank you, thank you!

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  22. Wow this fortress is STUNNING! Beatuful picture!

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  23. Mmmmm....history...*drools*

    lol gramma! The men will just have to live with the pretty sparkles you're adding to the crown. The next man who claims it can pretend they are "manly" sparkles. Markles!

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  24. Just a "simple hunting lodge"!! LOL!! Love that Eric! Sort of like Malmaison or Fontainebleau?? LOL!!

    Didn't know that Mata Hari met her fate there! Merci for the update!! ;-)

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  25. That is a stunning photo! I love the lighing on the stone

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  26. I just can't fathom how huge this place is! Just the donjon itself is large, but that is only a tiny part of this whole complex. Awesome piece of history too, Eric. Thanks for sharing! Very cool!! (And my hubby likes the moat!)

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  27. I didn't know Nazis were inprisoned there.

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  28. What a view! Such a nice scenery...

    Looks so classical and religious castle...

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  29. Erwan, as far as I know, (but I may be wrong) nazis were not inprisoned there. It's the opposite : They used the castle as a jail for theirs prisoners/hostages !

    Tonton Flaneur, Chambord castle also was only a "simple hunting lodge" for King François 1st, ... with just 360 chimneys...

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  30. Wow! During my trips to Paris, I have missed this! Will put it on the list for the next time I am there!

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  31. Just a simple hunting lodge hee hee....it's beautiful!
    Love the clock at the top!

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  32. My oh my. I think I will suggest this to my husband - he loves history and is looking for the best spots to visit while I am in a week long cooking class! This looks perfect for him...thanks, Eric.

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  33. Coltrane thanks! I hope so too, soon

    In the mean time, I´ll just have to keep on shouting!

    :-))

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  34. My husband and I visited the Chateau on the second to last day of our trip to Paris at the beginning of January. You took much better pictures of it than I did! Wish we had had more time to visit the keep and rest of the chateau but had to get back to Paris for an evening concert in the little church across from Notre Dame. Lovely! Je'taime Paris!

    I love the PDP! Keep it up! You're awesome and inspiring!

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  35. You're all right, after looking at this photo again I thought it was a mockup too!! And I swear, I took it on the real spot!



    Tonton "Didn't know that Mata Hari met her fate there! Merci for the update!! ;-)" No me neither actually. To me Mata Hari is barely a real person; rather a novel character!

    Tomate "I sure would *never* have recognized it, all cleaned up. Great night shot!" They renewed it recently that is why.

    Erwan/Thib "Erwan, as far as I know, (but I may be wrong) nazis were not inprisoned there. It's the opposite : They used the castle as a jail for theirs prisoners/hostages !" Yes Thib you are right. I should have written "hostages of the Nazi" instead.

    Buzzlittleone "I love the PDP! Keep it up! You're awesome and inspiring!" ;)))))

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  36. Beautiful Château -- I feel like I have been there before; perhaps lived there in another life time. It all seemed very familiar. I know you are thinking, Weirdo -- are you in the Twilight Zone.

    Thib, "Erwan" LOL -- I'm still laughing at that one. Merci for the historical information. To you, Erwan and Tonton.

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  37. Eric,
    I'm a bad person because I've neglected to come back to your site.
    Thanks so much for showing off the worlds most beautiful and historic city, and for doing so in English such that those of us with rusty French can make it all work!

    And posting this pic, albeit two years ago, as in 1984 I was honoured to spend a month within its walls as a humble young New Zealander pouring thru the "SHAT" (Army) archives for invaluable information on another talented 'Frenchman' during a long European visit.

    The donjon has seen a fine restoration I can tell as my photos opf the time attest to its rogours thru time. One day I hope to return and reacquaint myself.
    dave

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