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St Germain en Laye Royal Castle near Paris, France
Royal Castle with many Treasures
Just outside Paris, France is a beautiful French royal castle which has not been discovered by many tourists yet, known as St Germain en Laye. It was one of the many royal residents of the Kings of France from the 12th century onwards. Nestled on on 4400 hectares, this castle today is an archaeological museum surrounded by beautiful gardens.The castle which was first built in 1122 has an interesting history worth exploring. It was rebuilt at the beginning of 1539 by Francois I after it was destroyed by a fire in 1346. A visit to this castle is perfect for those tourists who have already experienced the more famous castles of Versailles, Fontainebleau and Chantilly now wanting to experience real French country life without all the tourists present.
What makes a visit to this castle even more interesting is to see the town of St Germaine en Laye with its many narrow streets, street cafes and shops.
Within easy reach from Paris
St Germain en Laye castle can be reached from Paris by RER train on the A1 line within only 30 minutes. It is just 20 kilometers from Paris and within easy reach as the castle is just outside the station. Before visiting the museum a tour of its beautiful gardens is a must which is also perfect for a picnic. The museum inside the castle hosts about 29 000 archaeological treasures ranging from the Iron Age, Bronze Age to the middle ages and more. In a special lounge with a large television the visitor can watch how many of these treasures were discovered. The Renaissance architecture of the castle is magnificent while the courtyard is worth crossing.
After a visit to the castle the town of St Germain en Laye is evidence of real French country life. Enjoy a real French lunch across the castle at one of its many street cafes. Then take a stroll through the town's many narrow streets with their interesting small shops. During summer time the town is full of colourful flowers which is a beautiful sight. Then take the train back to Paris and be back within 30 minutes. This is a perfect day trip which children will also enjoy without getting too tired.
I like this video on the Castle
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