Located on the eastern side of Paris at the end of the Vincennes metro line sits one of the tallest and best preserved fortified castles in Europe. Erected between the 14th and 17th centuries, its purpose was to shelter the royal family, entire domestic staff and necessary army for its defense.
It is composed of a long surrounding wall, protected by three gates and six 42 metre-high towers, which stretch over more than half a mile and protects a rectangular space of several acres. This interior square holds the keep, the civilian, administrative and military buildings and a chapel. In the Middle Ages, all of these elements together made it possible for several thousands of people to live here. A wide moat and two drawbridges ensure its safety.
The château was definitively abandoned as a royal residence when the King elected Versailles as his new home around 1670. You can get there by metro and RER: Line 1: Château de Vincennes or by bus: Château de Vincennes station: Line 46, 56. They’re open Monday through Saturday, 10 to 6. Address: 1 Avenue de Paris, Vincennes. Telephone: +33 1 48 08 31 20
Move over Disneyland Paris, this is the real thing. Take the kids.