Paris Travel Planner   Château d'Écouen Museum, Paris
The National Renaissance Museum is little known but well worth a visit.

 Daphne, Cahteau d'Ecouen, France
Above, Gilded silver and coral statue of Daphne.



The Musée National de la Renaissance-Château d'Écouen is a long name for a lovely Renaissance museum about 22 kilometers (14 miles) north of Paris. It makes a great day trip from Paris.

Relatively unknown, the Château d'Écouen is pleasant to visit. While there may be some tour groups, generally it is not crowded and you can visit at your leisure.

The Château is considered one of the major artistic accomplishments of the French Renaissance. It was built in honor of Anne de Montmorency (1493-1567), a soldier and statesman who became Constable of France, a very important position reporting to the King.

He was named for his godmother, Anne de Bretagne, and came from an important family in France. He served several kings, including François I and Henri II.

The Château today includes original decor from the Musée National de la Renaissance. Collections include furniture, paintings, ceramics, and notable tapestries. There are also several beautiful and unusual painted fireplaces protraying Bible scenes.

The chapel vaults show the coats of arms of Anne de Montmorency and his wife, Madeleine de Savoie. It also has an early reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, and a lovely organ dating from the 16th century, with decorated shutters showing the Annunciation, the Nativity, and the Adoration of the Magi.

Organ, Ecouen, France

Your visit will take you to the High Constable's Hall as well as the private apartments of the high constable and his wife. The Gallery of Psyche, on the first floor, is a large reception hall, whose floor was once covered wiht polychrome tiles. More beautiful Renaissance tiles may be seen in other sections of the Château.

The Pavilion of Abigail holds the first two wall hangings from the 16th century tapestry series of the story of David and Bathsheba. More...

The King's Cabinet includes large enamel plaques from Limoges, as well as many examples of Renaissance furniture.

The King's bedroom and antechamber lead to the Great Hall of the King, with its monumental fireplace and beautiful tile floor.

Other aspects of the collection include gold and silver objects, clocks, painted enamels, majolica, and a variety of sculptures.

The Musée National de la Renaissance was made a museum and opened to the public in 1977, by André Malraux, Minister of Culture under President Charles de Gaulle.

Just below the Château is the lovely Église St-Acceul, also built by the Montmorency family in the 16th century and known for its stained glass. More...

The museum has a small restaurant, Delyan. The day we visited it was entirely booked for lunch by a group. There are other restaurants and cafés below the Château in the town of Écouen. The Tourist Information Office can provide you with some names.

Musée National de la Renaissance/Château d'Écouen
95449 Écouen, France
+33 (0)1 34 38 38 50

Écouen Tapestries

Écouen Tourist Information

Église St-Acceul

Écouen Transport

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Chateau d'Ecouen, France

Above, The Château d'Écouen, Musée National de la Renaissance.

Below, Painted tiles in the Château d'Écouen.

Tiles, Chateau d'Ecouen, France

Tapestry, Chateau d'Ecouen, France
Above, Panel from David and Bathsheba Tapestry.

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