The Château de Pierrefonds is most famous to the British public as the magical setting of Camelot in the popular BBC TV series Merlin. This romantic chateaux with its fairytale towers sits on the edge of the Compiègne Forest and beside a beautiful lake, a perfect setting for such a majestic work of architecture.
Originally a medieval chateau which was destroyed under orders of Louis XIII, the Château de Pierrefonds was rebuilt by order of Napoleon III by the famous Viollet-le-Duc. One of the architect's most celebrated renovations, the rebuilt chateau does not strictly adhere to how the chateau would have looked but rather how Viollet-le-Duc imagined it should have been. The wealth of stunning sculptures showcase a playful creativity with a salamander gargoyle sculpted over the drainpipe on the keep wall and other chimera all around the chateau, especially in the interior courtyard.
Don't miss a wander around the Salle des Preuses with its polychromatic paintings or go for a walk along the upper covered walkway, which affords some great views. The kids will love pretending to be Arthur, Merlin and co. as they explore this fantastical place!