I had never heard of the Chateau de Pierrefonds before I visited it. Adam`s fellow assistants had planned a trip and as I`m not one to turn down a trip to a French chateau, I was happy to tag along!
The chateau is a reconstructed medieval castle in the Picardie region of France- reconstructed because it was destroyed during the 17th century. Napoleon III undertook the restoration project in the 19th century, once France began to take steps to preserve her history and monuments. Today the castle is fully restored and classified as a national monument.
How to get there
To visit the castle, we took an SNCF train to Compiègne. From the train station, we took a regional bus- Oise Mobilité– line 27 for 2 euros to the town of Pierrefonds. You can look up the times here.
As legal residents of France under 25, it was free to enter the castle. We got magnificent views of the chateau from the bus on our way there, and when we were dropped off in the main square of Pierrefonds, all we had to do was look up to the see the turrets!
It was only a 5 minute walk from the town to the entrance gate of the chateau- and visitors have to loop fully around the castle gardens in order to enter the chateau itself. This gave us plenty of time to take pictures of our surroundings and get excited about seeing the interior!
Once we made it into the chateau, all we had to do was explore- and there was a lot to see! The courtyard of the chateau had such incredible sculptures- even mini castle turrets- and each room of the castle had a new story. We managed to see the chapel, an exhibition on 19th century paintings of the chateau, the private quarters, and the ramparts of the castle overlooking the town. There were additional exhibits throughout the chateau, including medieval dress.
One unexpected part of the chateau was the basement. There was only one small sign pointing down instead of to the exit, so being the adventurous souls we are we went down. There were effigies of all sorts of historical French people in this dark tomb- that had flickering lights on the walls and creepy music playing. We got out of there as quickly as we could!
Visiting the Chateau de Pierrefonds was a very enjoyable day trip- well worth a visit! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!