Bois de Vincennes Travel Guide

  • The South Esplanade going East
    The South Esplanade going East
    by hquittner
  • The Nearby Commune of Vincennes Beyond the Park
    The Nearby Commune of Vincennes Beyond...
    by hquittner
  • View of Pavillon & Portico Complex
    View of Pavillon & Portico Complex
    by hquittner

Bois de Vincennes Things to Do

  • The Bois (Park) Is a Place for Children

    Not only is there the chateau to visit but there is the Parc Floral de Paris, a modest sized Zoo and play activities and cycling (and places to eat or drink) enough to make any child happy. That is why we visited and it was a smart choice. This was long ago (1992) and enormous improvements have occurred since then. Here is what we experienced. (The...

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  • Wander Through the Parc Floral

    The flower gardens are one of the development features of the Bois. It has been much expanded since we were there but the features remains the same lots of growing flower arrangements, a small lake with water lilies and lotus, fountains and at the edge an extensive children's area (see Separate Tip). I assum you can still use cycles to go through...

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  • Tour the Living Quarters of the...

    The ancient castle (keep) is at the center of the most fortified area and has three very similar levels that consist of a central chamber and corner small rooms. There is a central pillar that sustains the Gothic vaulting which anchors at console high on the walls, Communication between the levels is by a spiral staircase at one edge. The ground...

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  • See the Defensive Elements of the Castle...

    The castle is a defensive structure, heavily built with a moat and an angled base to prevent sapping.It is superior height promoting visibility. It is surrounded by a thick and tall outer wall that has covered walkways and corner turrets. Today the entry is by a walkway and not a drawbridge. There was a protective barbican as well. The entry gate...

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  • Examine the 17C Pavillons and Porticos

    The pavillons and porticos occupying the southern section of the larger enclosure were designed and built by LeVau. Marie de Medici ordered the first one in 1610 (East; the King's) and some years later had it doubled by replicating its form in line. (She hated the Paris' Louvre). In 1658 LeVau duplicated the pavillon again (West; the Queen's) and...

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  • The Chapel Has Fine Stained Glass...

    There are original mid 16 C stained glass windows preserved in the apse. They depict scenes from the Apocalypse but I am not qualified to read them. I can see trumpeting angels, Prophets, Sufferers etc and a dedicatory King kneeling (in the first pane). You may see more. We saw these briefly as part of a guided tour; I do not know if there is free...

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  • See the Outside and Inside of the...

    The Chapel was started in 1379 by Charles V and grew bit by bit until Henri II had it finished by Philippe de l'Orme (1552). It is patterned on Ste.-Chapelle and was awarded a thorn of the crown to improve its sanctity. The style is Flamboyant Gothic with many fine flourishes. The glass of the apse is also mid-16C (See next Tip). There is a Rose...

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  • Proceed to the Medieval Chateau

    One enters the chateau complex from the North through the Tour du Village which exhibits the slots from an old drawbridge. This takes you inside the lower outer walls that were added later. Almost at the middle of the area, on the right (West) is the well-built original Chateau and at its center within another set of protective walls is the tall...

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  • Art Galleries

    in keeping with its past as an intellectual hang out, there are good art galleries and one of the best is Fremaux..picasso miro among others, but what was most surprising was the affordability of these original and prints.

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Bois de Vincennes Transportation

  • cochinjew's Profile Photo
    the railway station

    by cochinjew Written Jun 29, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can either take the Metro Line 1 la defense-vincennes or take RER A which brings you here within about twenty minutes from the centre of Paris

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Bois de Vincennes Sports & Outdoors

  • hquittner's Profile Photo
    A Four-Wheeled Bike 4 more images

    by hquittner Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our grandson was only a novice cyclist and we had not ridden for over 2 decades so this four wheeled vehicle best served our purpose in the Bois. (The three of us pedaled when we were not taking pictures). Even some of the park police used bicycles. When we were leaving the Bois we encountered at the parking these entrepreneurs working from a van. The rates on the bikes they were renting were dependent upon the style and quality, just like auto rentals. According to the Bois website, there are several places in the park for rentals and over 15 km of paths (pistes). There is also a place to rent saddle horses and paths.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Cycling
    • Family Travel

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Bois de Vincennes Favorites

  • hquittner's Profile Photo
    To the Finish Line 3 more images

    by hquittner Written Apr 3, 2008

    Favorite thing: The Hippodrome is in the Southeast part of the Bois. It is devoted to trotting races (standardbreds). The two other race courses in Paris are at the Bois de Boulogne (Longchamp for flatracing and Auteuil for steeplechase --thoroughbreds). It is best to lookup the seasons in contemporary reports as the seasons are very limited. We have never gone to any of thses, but I found these pictures, taken by my father on one of many travels; these in 1963. There was no RER at that time and they took a bus). The RER stop today is Joinville-le-Pont(A2, Zone 3).

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

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