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Pierrefon, Senlis, Chantilly

In this part of the story a lot of historical facts have been mentioned, borrowed by me from various sources, but it’s impossible to manage without narrating about the places we visited on this day.

Castle Pierrefonds. This is one of the few surviving real battle castles of France, so we certainly wanted to see it. Arriving at the picturesque park, they left the car in a free parking lot under a spreading chestnut tree and hurried to the gate. True, I had to return right away – chestnuts fell from a tree with such frequency and power that they had to rearrange the car to another place, so as not to count the number of dents upon return 🙂

Even from a distance, the castle, towering on a hill, makes an indelible impression.
He looks like a man-eater in possession of the Puss in Boots fairytale – huge, grandiose, luxurious, sky-high and with walls six meters thick. A short walk to him set up in a certain way – piercing silence, the colorful colors of the park, the walls of the castle and the picturesque views of the city located at its foot.

Our walk was accompanied by strange sounds – as if someone was pouring small apples from a bag from a height, and, going up to the castle walls, I got in the forehead, along the back of the head and in one interesting place 🙂 After the first blow, I was indignant to myself: after the second: “I’ll catch it, hope I will … tsu !!!” After the third, she laughed at herself – the “gangsters” turned out to be chestnuts, from which the fruits flew at every breath of breeze, they were littered with everything footpaths and lawns.

The season of tourist groups is over, so our family was almost the only visitors. Having paid 7 € at the entrance (a child is free), we received a booklet in Russian, the information from which I will use to describe this miracle.

“In 1393, Louis of Orleans, the second son of Charles V, built a fortress near Compiègne. Pierrephone was intended to control trade between Flanders and Burgundy, the feuds of the dukes of Burgundy, the rivals of the dukes of Orleans. Subsequently, the fortress always belonged to the younger children of the family, who did not get the power. In 1616, Louis XIII besieged the fortress: the castle was taken, and then destroyed. Its ruins were all forgotten until Napoleon I acquired them in 1810. ”

In the castle there are many paintings showing how he looked during the period of destruction – a sad sight. “In the 19th century, a growing interest in the romantic ruins pushed Napoleon III to transform Pierrephon’s castle into a temporary residence, and then into a museum. In 1857, he commissioned the restoration of the castle to architect Viollet Le Duc, who applied his architectural doctrine of the Middle Ages to restore the fortress, turning Pierrephone Castle into a real creation. ”

On the second floor there are works of wood belonging to the hand of this architect – various chimeras and other monsters, as well as a collection of Monduis, the dynasties of craftsmen in the manufacture of figured metal products.

“The greatest architects and sculptors entrusted the Monduis workshops with the restoration and creation of such works of art as the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris, a large lantern on the dome of the Paris Opera, the statue of Liberty in New York, products that adorn the roof of the Pierrephon castle, and others. the donations to Pierrephone Castle are not copies, but genuine duplicates created in the workshops at the same time as the fulfillment of the main orders in order to be presented to the public during world exhibitions. ”

We looked at the interiors of the castle with interest, lingering in the most beautiful room – the Hall of Heroines. As follows from the booklet “At the edge of the hall there is a fireplace with a double hearth, decorated with statues of Empress Eugenia and the court ladies, presented as Heroines. Two round stools, created by Viollet-le-Duc, remained the only pieces of furniture in this hall after the collection of medieval armor of Napoleon III moved to Paris to the Museum of Armed Forces in the house of Invalids. ”

In the end, they visited the dungeon of the castle, where there is a huge tomb – the burial of generations of French kings and their relatives, and examined the layout of the castle, which is located at the exit.

Pieron’s castle is open to visitors all year round. Opening hours: from October to April – from 10:00 to 17:00, from May to September from 10:00 to 18:00. Break from 12:30 to 14:00.

We didn’t want to leave, so we walked around the main courtyard, took pictures at the equestrian statue of Louis Orleans, and only after that went to Senlis. This “medieval town with curves, cobbled streets, Gallo-Roman fortress walls and towers” ​​attracted, first of all, its history: “It has been a royal residence since the time of the first Frankish king.

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