Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne, Seine-et-Marne visitors guide
Visit Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne, France
The town of Champs-sur-Marne is about 20 kilometres east of central Paris, and now largely a commuter town for Paris. It is within the historic Brie district that follows the valleys of the Seine and the Marne, now best known for the famous cheese of the same name that originates here.
Explore the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne
France This Way comment: the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne is unusual in having both interior rooms and external gardens that are all well preserved in their original style, making the castle very pleasant to visit.
For visitors, the town of Champs-sur-Marne is best known for its castle, built in the classical style at the beginning of the 18th century for rich financiers of King Louis XIV.
As with many other castles in the area around Paris, it was built close enough to the city that the journey in a horse and carriage took less than an hour to reach the capital and allowed the owners to appreciate the countryside. Unlike some castles, the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne has no historical defensive purpose: it was built entirely for leisure and comfort.
From the front, the chateau is approached via a bridge across a moat (now empty) then along a broad gravel path with stone walls either side containing rows of arches, then entered between the classical columns either side of the porch. There are symmetrical wings either side of the entrance that together form a U shape around a small courtyard. The columns have a simple design called the Tuscan style, as used in very early buildings in Ancient Rome.
The rear of the castle has a rotunda the full height of the castle and contains a salon that overlooks a fountain.
The heart of the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne is dominated by a large staircase and a statue of Saint-George killing the dragon. The interior is meticulously furnished with paintings and furniture from the 18th century as created first by the Duke of La Vallière and then later by Madame Pompadour.
You visit many rooms, among the most notable are the dining room, the painted boudoir and the Chinese salon. The 18th century decor is much more busy than modern interiors with many walls covered in paintings or floral wallpapers - not perhaps to modern tastes but interesting to see.
Among the artworks in the castle, the tapestries by Gobelin and the many paintings also help to maintain the 18th century aesthetic of the castle.
After exploring the rooms of the castle you can walk through the garden that surround the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne, which are also in the French style typical of the 18th century, as well as an area of English style gardens. The marked trail through the gardens, which are officially classified as a 'jardin remarquable' allows you to appreciate all the highlights and takes about two hours to complete.
The impressive standard of the castle and gardens is a result of extensive renovations at the end of the 19th cntury, and further renovations that were completed in 2013. As a result of its historical accuracy the castle has been used as a setting in several film and television programmes.
The Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne is open all year but closed on Tuesday and selected holidays (1 Jan, 1 May, 1 Nov, 11 Nov, 25 Dec). Opening hours are 10.00 - 12.15 and 13.30 - 17.00 (18.00 in summer). Admission to the castle costs eight euros.
The Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne will usually be visited as part of a trip to Paris. There is not much else to see in the town centre and if you are travelling by train you will need to travel to nearby Noisy-Champs and walk to the castle, about 2.5 kilometres, or find local transport.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Paris guide.
Map of Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne and places nearby
Visit near Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne with France This Way reviews
Plan your visit to Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne, Seine-et-Marne
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Domaine national de Champs-sur-Marne: remarkable garden
- Champs-sur-Marne Chateau: national monument
- Noisiel: town of art and history
- Gagny: ville fleurie 4* (6 km)
- Livry-Gargan: ville fleurie 4* (9 km)
- Murs à pêches: site of natural beauty (11 km)
- Aulnay-sous-Bois: ville fleurie 4* (12 km)
- Vincennes Chateau: national monument (12 km)
- Creteil: ville fleurie 4* (13 km)
- Disneyland Paris: theme park (13 km)
- Parc zoologique de Vincennes: zoo or wildlife park (14 km)
- Maisons-Alfort: ville fleurie 4* (14 km)
The French version of this page is at Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne (Francais)