While thinking of which places to visit near Paris, I suddenly remembered that during my school years I used to come across a castle name, which seemed both very long and very seducing to me — Saint-Germain-en-Laye. I wondered if the castle still existed or not, and to my pleasant surprise, it does exist. Built even earlier than the luxurious and popular Versailles palace it is far more attractive and beautiful.
Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Saint-German-en-Laye (the source is in French) is a french royal castle and is situated west of Paris in the Yvelines department. The construction of the castle was initiated in 1124 by Louis VI, and it was planned to be a hunting lodge in the forests of St. Germain. Present Sainte Chapelle was built by Philip II, and it consists of three bays and an apse. It also has portals and a rose window.
This green city is nestled in a forest of 3500 hectares and has been the favorite residence of many kings of France as well as the birthplace of Louis XIV. The castle-museum with its outstanding terrace creates a divine picture. At a certain moment you might even start questioning if human hands could really create that. It will seem you have appeared in the medieval times. Isn’t it great?
The center of the present-day castle is St. Germain Church built in 1163. Once there was a big monastery complex the remains of which can still be found there. If you are interested in Gothic style, there you are because the entire interior is the perfect illustration of that style.
The garden with lots of trees and colorful flowers is but fabulous. You can simply sit somewhere there and admire the huge architectural wonder and why not, take amazing photos of that indescribably beautiful place.
And lastly, the halls of Saint Germain are full of paintings featuring French kings and various sculptures by world-known sculptors. It’s something you will definitely love. So don’t hesitate visiting Saint Germain, which is undoubtedly a most desirable escape from the busy life of crowded Paris.