There has been a bit of an impromptu break from our Europe posts lately, but I’m jumping back in today with one of our favorite excursions towards the end of the trip…visiting a castle!!
RELATED: OUR 2 WEEK EUROPE TRIP ITINERARY
We left the charming town of Albert in the early morning and drove south for an hour towards the area around Compiegne, France (not all that far from Paris, where we would later be flying home from).
I had first come across Chateau de Pierrefonds while planning our Europe trip and searching for some neat sights or castles near Compiegne, France. This castle was created in the 15th century, torn down, and then rebuilt at the order of Napoleon III.
Pierrefonds was one of those jaw-dropping, massive stone structures that you usually think of when you think of a castle! I was just amazed when we parked and began to walk up this steep hill, catching the first glimpse of one of the towers!
The castle perched at the top of a hill overlooking the quiet little town of Pierrefonds. We were there in the morning on the weekend, and despite the sleepy-feel of the town, we later saw people beginning to open and congregate at tiny local cafes.
One of the most charming parts of standing outside the castle was the fact that the church bells began to ring out around the town. I felt like I was in “The Sound of Music!” 🙂 I captured a little part of it with this video:
Let’s jump into what the actual castle looked like!
Pierrefonds had a beautiful chapel, large inner courtyard, and stunning rooms. I loved seeing some of that Flemish-style architecture in some rooms of the castle! There was also a dark, dimly-lit basement (not sure I would actually call it a dungeon) with memorials throughout the huge rooms.
It definitely had that dark, cool, stony castle feeling that you would expect. I think we sometimes forget that life in a castle didn’t always mean amazing natural light or warmth (other than fireplaces!). 🙂
I really loved this gorgeous hall / ballroom, though. The sunlight pouring in through the stained glass windows really blew me away.
All in all, it was a fun morning spent touring Pierrefonds on our own! We’re glad we worked a couple different chateaus/castles into the end of our Europe trip!
You can catch up on the rest of our Europe posts by clicking here!