Cities of the Emperors Napoleon


Wanting to show two important castles of my region to my guest, I also received a request from Alan, my Erasmus friend, who wanted to take part to this small trip.

Visit of the Pierrefonds castle

As since the beginning of the week the weather was crazy, cold and rainy after a long period of Mediterranean warmness. My Polish friend and I wanted to go to some local brocantes before the other French had arrived but due to the rain everything was cancelled… it was not an optimistic view for the rest of the day. I drove them to Pierrefonds, village located 40 minutes from my home. The closer we were to Pierrefonds and the better the sky became and we finally were in the city we could enjoyed a blue sky with a fresh air.

In contrary to the previous visit with my Korean friend the castle was open. Both of my friend had a free entry ticket but me. I somehow managed to not pay, despite I shown my ID card!

Courtyard of the castle

Courtyard of the castle

We entered the castle’s inner courtyard and seen something better than the outside façade: a chapel, nice sculptures on the wall… the interior of the castle is used as a museum. Various elements are exposed, such statues, city hall roofs or painting. The most impressive part of the visit was definitely the reception hall, a gallery all in wood and colours! A must seen for whoever goes to Pierrefonds.

Old part of the Imperial Compiègne

Despite we planned also to visit the Armistice Wagon Museum we didn’t stop for it, Alan had a train to catch to come back to his far away home town. We straight went to Compiègne for its the park and its surounding. I saw for the first time the garden of Marie-Antoinette and the little chapel next to it. Then we walked to the city center, an district with some old and well preserved houses. I started to not count the statues of Jeanne d’Arc I have seen, but the one in Compiègne on the town hall square is the most special since the girl have been captured near the city. On the town hall clock can be observed three little men (Picantins) who ring the bells, they all have a name and symbolise the three main enemies of France (Langlois the English, Lansquenet the German and Flandrin the Flemish).

I first saw some important monument of the city, the Royal tower of Charles le Chauve which is the last existent mark of the old castle and which also has a memorial sign of The Pucelle d’Orléans. We walked though a interesting square under a large old building that I suppose to be an old trade merchant house.

Arches from the former Jacobins' convent

Arches from the former Jacobins’ convent

After having saying goodbye to Alan and letting him took his train, Weronika and I returned to the former Jacobin’s convent where is a really nice park. This tour ended there and a little rain started to fall on us again. The sky was with us for the whole visit.

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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