During my time in France, I am attending language school three times a week in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a town just outside of Paris and one corner of the Golden Triangle of the Yvelines. It is a fantastic town, and I have come to love it and the people that live there. One big feature in the town is the château and its gardens, which are great for an afternoon’s wandering.
The castle was, and still is, covered in ugly scaffolding, and I’ve tried to avoid it the best I can, but it doesn’t always work. Inside the château, there is an antiquities museum that I am yet to visit, but it’s on my list! King Louis XIV was actually born in this château and made it one of his principal residences later on. When James II of England was sent away in exile, he stayed in Saint-Germain-en-Laye too.
It’s strange to think that in WW2, this became German Army HQ during their occupation of France. Apparently there’s still some German bunkers in the town, but I have yet to go bunker-hunting.
The gardens that are attached to the château are also pretty amazing. I dread to think how much time is spent on the upkeep of these gardens but it’s worth every second.
The lines of trees head down towards a long terrace from which you can look down onto the river Seine, and see Paris in the distance. The lens I had with me that day wasn’t incredible over long distances, but you can get the gist.
Slightly unrelated fact: Saint-Germain-en-Laye is also the birthplace of Claude Debussy, the composer, and Amélie Mauresmo, the tennis player. Of course many others have been born here too…