France is packed with a lot of palaces and castles, usually in splendid locations, each one rich in history. These are no longer just remnants of the past, as at present it is possible for us to experience living history in a French chateau.
The word “chateau” is a French term which has been included in the English language. The French word “chateau” signifies a variety of structural buildings such as a Renaissance palace, medieval fortress, and a 19th century country house.
The Paris region having a unique history has several chateaux to discover, wherein some are considered extraordinary heritage sites. If you are currently traveling in Paris, get on a romantic journey or take your family for a day trip and imagine yourselves as a rich 17th-century Parisian as you discover the grandness of chateaux within and around Paris.
Open all year round, these chateaux offer locals and tourists the chance to travel through France’s history and discover the region of Paris’ cultural heritage gems.
Must-See Châteaux Around Paris
Château de Chantilly
Although not visited by crowds of tourists, this chateau is a fairly easy getaway from Paris. Château de Chantilly rewards visitors with a spectacular view once they enter the property grounds. The gardens which comprises of canals, lakes, and manicured lawns with each having a unique theme are all works of art. The gardens itself are worth the trip and best appreciated at a relaxed phase. The castle is home to one of France’s luxurious art galleries as the previous owner, the Duke of Aumale, was an avid collector.
Château de Fontainebleau
A beautiful castle situated 55 kilometers southeast of Paris, Le Château de Fontainebleau is a must-see tourist spot in the French capital. A huge forested estate, the original castle is enclosed by beautiful forest and was constructed in the 12th century as a hunting ground for king Louis VII of France. From then on, his successors spent time and money expanding and and decorating the castle that at present, Fontainebleau is one of the most beautiful and largest royal castles in France.
Palace of Versailles
Probably the most popular palace in France, Palace of Versailles is among the most visited travel destinations in the world. Located ten miles from the capital, this luxurious château has once been France’s seat of power, and eventually became a museum that displays the country’s history. The Palace welcomes over eight million visitors a year. The chateau, built in 1600s is comprised of a splendid garden, 2300 rooms and a Grand Canal. Not to be missed is the Hall of Mirrors which has over 350 mirrors.
Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant
Otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant is situated at Disneyland Paris’ Main Street. This famous fairytale castle is surely worth a visit if you need a pot of magic in your life. This is the only Disney castle with its own massive robotic dragon in the dungeon underneath, which usually when awakened blows up a smoke.
If will be visiting Disneyland Paris during the night, the park also projects the Illuminations Show onto the castle front along with scenes from Disney films, fountains, lasers and fireworks.
Whether your interest is gardens, art, or to experience the French lavishness, a trip to Paris would not be complete without immersing into the countryside and visit the region’s grand châteaux.