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My favorite place in France has to be Chateau Pierrefonds (aka Chateau de Pierrefonds)! I just absolutely adored visiting this fairytale castle! It costs a pretty penny to get there, but it is worth it. There is no train directly to the town it’s located in so you have to take a train to the closest station, then take a taxi to the Chateau. I’m told there is a bus from the station, but I never really found any solid information on the times it was running. I found out later that it would have been cheaper to rent a car and drive there, as between my Aunt and myself we spent more in train and taxi fare than the price of a rental. Chateau Pierrefonds is included in the Paris Museum Pass so no need to fork out extra money.
Filming at Chateau de Pierrefonds
Upon arriving, you’ll find a quaint little town surrounding this gorgeous French castle. I can’t imagine growing up there; having a castle in town? Crazy! For those TV/Film buffs out there, you’ll probably recognize it from Merlin, Narnia, Man in the Iron Mask, and more! Since filming has ceased for Merlin the traffic has slowed down. There was probably 10 other people in the whole place while I was there. We really had free reign! You’re handed a map upon entering by one of their wonderful staff and that’s about all the guide you’re going to get. Unless you speak French, you’re on your own.
Chateau Pierrefonds is beautifully preserved and is very well kept. The detail in this place is insane! I found craftsmanship in every corner! The inside is mildly decorated but you can still feel the aura of it.
Dragons at Chateau Pierrefonds
The above image is a view of the courtyard from a second story window. If you’ve watched Merlin, you’ve seen this area many times. Note, the stairs to the dragon are here, though they won’t let you go down them. Since the dragon is still probably hanging out down there now that his acting gig is up 😉 The left side of the image, if I remember correctly, is the chapel. You’re allowed in the first two levels of Chateau Pierrefonds, not really sure what’s in the upper areas. (Will update if I find out)
Knights of the Round Table
The large room pictured above was used to house the round table for the knights. It has also been used for many other films. The room has two levels and is very very long. There’s a huge fireplace that was taller than my Aunt! A lot of the decorations were wood carved if I remember right. The other cool thing was that the furniture in there was original.
Tales of the Crypt
Just when I thought this place couldn’t get any better it did! I was warned not to miss the crypt below Chateau Pierrefonds. They have it setup with all these lights and music. There are also spirits whispering in French. Sorry, my French is no where near good enough to translate. It felt like the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland but better since it was real! Chateau de Pierrefonds should be on your list of French castles to visit!