Château d’Ecouen

Chateau d’Ecouen panorama

Château d’Écouen is a French castle in Val d’Oise.

The château was built for Anne Montmorency, Constable of France, between 1531 and 1563, and it is the first example in France of a four-wing plan, with corner pavilions, around a central court.

Château d’Ecouen History

Chateau d’Ecouen detail

The Castle of Ecouen sits on a hill, with façades corresponding to the four points of the compass and the entrance wing on the east.

The steep drop of the north face of the hill is secured by a terrace, beneath which lay a ball-playing pitch that was demolished in 1793.

On all but the north side, the château is enclosed by a sizeable moat, from which the core of the building is separated by a narrow terrace. The garden shown to the northeast in a 16th-century engraving was never laid out.

The pilasters are continued on the internal façade of the north wing, which belongs to the second phase (1551–c. 1563).

Chateau d’Ecouen interior detail

This was executed by an architect working in a style directly influenced by Roman and Italian Renaissance architecture, almost certainly Jean Bullant, who is recorded at Ecouen in 1553 and probably came to the château two years earlier, when Henry III elevated the barony of Montmorency to a dukedom.

Bullant apparently completed the court façade of the north wing to match the other three but added a Classically inspired applied portico bearing a dedication to Henry II.

Of direct Roman inspiration and using giant order Corinthian columns, this portico has long been admired for the precision of its carving. On the exterior façade, untrammeled by existing work, Bullant raised a two-stage elevation of Tuscan and Doric pilasters with a central three-bay loggia.

Chateau d’Ecouen interior

The interiors retain painted wooden ceilings, grisaille friezes and chimneypieces, and paintings of the Fontainebleau school, in particular, 12 large oil-on-plaster overmantels depicting scenes from the Old Testament set in broad, figured, and grotesque allegorical surrounds, possibly by a Flemish painter working in the style of Nicolò dell’Abate.

Windows and furnishings from the chapel in the north-east pavilion are now at the Musée Condé, in the Chateau d’Ecouen

After 1632 Ecouen came into the possession of Henri II, 3rd Prince de Condé. Declared state property in 1793, it was a school for the Légion d’honneur until 1962, when it was placed under the management of the Monuments Historiques.

Since 1976 it has housed the Musée National de la Renaissance. (The National Museum of the Renaissance)

Musée de la Renaissance & Château d’Ecouen – Visitor Information

Chateau d’Ecouen stained glass

Museum and Castle – Opening times & tickets
It is open every day except Tuesday from 9:30 to 12:45 and 14:00 to 17:15 (winter: from 1 October) and 17:45 (in summer: from 16 April). Closed 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December.

A ticket price is 4,5 € and 4 € for groups (at least 10 persons). The entrance fee allows access to permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.

Park access:
Open every day (including Tuesday) from 8:00 to 19:00 in summer (15 April to 30 September) and from 8.00 to 18.00 in winter.
Access to the park is free. Animal access is not allowed.
Closed January 1 and December 25.

Contact details:
Phone: +33134383850
Official website:

Chateau d’Ecouen sculpture

Vsit other Famous Castle in Ile-de-France:

Palace of Versailles
Chateau de Fontainebleau
Chateau de Rambouillet
Chateau de Saint Germain en Laye
Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte
Chateau de Marly
Palais du Luxembourg

Château d’Ecouen Location

Address: Musée de la Renaissance, Château d’Ecouen, 95440 Écouen, France. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:

Château d’Ecouen Map

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