Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Side Trips from Paris Sights

Château de Pierrefonds

  • Rue Viollet-le-Duc Map It
  • Pierrefonds

Fodor's Review

Built on a huge mound in the 15th century, the Château de Pierrefonds was dismantled in 1620, and then re-created to reflect its imagined former glory in the 1860s at the behest of Emperor Napoléon III, who was seeking to cash in on the craze for the Middle Ages. Architect Viollet-le-Duc left a crenellated fortress with a fairy-tale silhouette, although, like the fortified town of Carcassonne (which he also restored), Pierrefonds is more a construct of what he thought it should have looked like than what it really was. A visit takes in the chapel, barracks, and the majestic keep containing the lord's bedchamber and reception hall, which is bordered by a spiral staircase—its lower and upper sections clearly reveal what is ancient and what is more recent in this former fortress. Don't miss the plaster casts of tomb sculptures from all over France in the cellars, and the Collection Monduit —industrially produced, larger-than-life lead decorations made by the 19th-century firm that brought the Statue of Liberty to life.

Sight Information


Rue Viollet-le-Duc, Pierrefonds, 60350, France

Map It



Sight Details:

  • €7.50
  • May–Aug., daily 9:30–6; Sept.–Apr., Tues.–Sun. 10–1 and 2–5:30


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.