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The King's Chamber

Carved ornament in the King's bedroom

In the dungeon, the King's bedroom embodies the powerful royal residence designed by Charles V. Enter a masterpiece of the Château de Vincennes!

Charles V and the Château de Vincennes

In the 14th century, Charles V wanted to make the château de Vincennes the symbol of his power. He therefore chose to move in, and had private apartments fitted out.

The fortress of Vincennes was already under construction when Charles V was crowned in 1364. However, he was to become its main architect, giving it an unprecedented dimension. He needed to assert his legitimacy, both in relation to his own people and to rival England. He therefore entrusted architect Raymond du Temple with the task of designing a structure that met his needs. The keep was to be more than just a defensive structure: it was also to be a royal residence, the seat of the French monarchy!

Charles V moved in in 1367 or 1368. While some areas were dedicated to public life, such as the Council Chamber, others were reserved for the sovereign's private life. In fact, he had two apartments. The first is located at the level of the keep's parapet walk. The second occupies the entire second floor of the tower. It includes several elements, such as a chapel, a wardrobe and a study.

But its main room, a large surface area of around 100 m², is the king's bedroom!

The King's bedroom
The King's bedroom, Vincennes dungeon

© Jean-Pierre Delagarde / Centre des monuments nationaux

Welcome to the King's bedroom

The King's bedroom is located just above the Council Chamber on the second floor. The two look very similar, with their ogival vaulted ceilings. Originally, both were also covered with wood panelling on the ceiling and walls. This was an ingenious solution for keeping the heat in, as fireplaces alone were not enough.

However, the bedroom is decorated with greater luxury, particularly in the carved ornaments. The archives mention the presence of a bed, three chests, a sideboard with crockery and weapons. All the royal symbolism can be found in the ribbing of the vaults, with gilded fleurs-de-lis painted on a blue background. This brilliant color is obtained from a precious stone, lapis lazuli. Worthy of a king, the room is sure to impress any visitor allowed inside!

The King's Chamber is testimony to the importance of the Vincennes keep in the 14th century. But did you know that this imposing tower was also a terrible prison?

Vaulted ceiling of the King's bedroom, central room on the second floor
Vaulted ceiling of the King's bedroom, central room on the second floor

© Jean-Pierre Delagarde / Centre des monuments nationaux

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