Just another hunting lodge
Like many French castles, Château de Vincennes was originally constructed in the 14th century to serve as a hunting lodge for the monarchy. Louis VII was the first to reside there, and after centuries of royal weddings, deaths, wars, executions, and even a brief stint as the site of Vincenne's porcelain manufacturing, this château is now an austere reminder of France's armed forces and military defense. Being in the presence of such deep and enduring history is almost more than my brain can comprehend. I find myself at a loss, struck dumb by the thought of just how much happened here, how many people lived and died here, and how miniscule my life is in comparison. When this castle was first constructed, society's greatest worries revolved around avoiding the plague and living under an oppressive monarchy. As I strolled the grounds, I think my concerns were no more significant than choosing the best Instagram filter.
p.s. for anyone who is curious/interested/aware...only one post remaining in my Paris par arrondissement series. I'm not sure who's been following along, but if you have been...we're almost there!