On the edge of the Compiègne Forest in Oise, Pierrefonds Castle is remarkable for its surprising history. Built in the late 14th century by the Duke Louis d'Orléans, it was dismantled in the 17th century. It was completely abandoned and was in ruins when Napoleon I bought it. But it was not until the reign of Napoleon III that work began to rebuild it in 1858. This project was entrusted to the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who decided to turn it into a castle worthy of the Middle Ages. Although Viollet-le-Duc focussed on the Gothic style, he still gave free rein to his creativity and created a majestic castle with ramparts, loopholes, a wall walk with machicolations, a keep, towers and mysterious gargoyles, as well as footbridges, porticoes and galleries.
Inside, the rooms alternate between Gothic, Renaissance and Art Nouveau styles. The Hall of the Nine Worthy Women, without doubt the most beautiful part of the castle, is the ceremonial room, 52 metres long and richly adorned with polychrome decorations. In the cellars of the castle, discover the unusual display called the "Recumbents' Ball", which reveals recumbent and orant statues against a backdrop of sound and audiovisual effects.
Scenes from famous films were shot here, such as "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" and "The Visitors".