Château de Maintenon
Dating back to the 12th century, the castle better known as the residence of Madame de Maintenon, the second wife of Louis XIV.
Construction of the castle began sometime in the 12th century. But the Château de Maintenon is better known as the private residence of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV’s second wife. In the early 16th century Jean Cottereau, Louis XII’s treasurer, purchased the castle making it his country house. In 1675 the king purchased the castle for his then mistress Madame de Maintenon and had staff from Versailles renovate the building and gardens. It is said Madame de Maintenon loved the castle’s beauty and solitude. Following her secret marriage to the king in a secret ceremony sometime between 1684 and 1686 she was rarely able to visit.
The château viewed from the south, showing the cour d’honneur between the castle’s east and west wings. Photograph © Eric Pouhier/Wikimedia
The oppulent, recent restored grande galerie. Photo © Selbymay/Wikimedia
Beyond the formal gardens and cutting through the grounds of the castle are the remains of an incomplete aqueduct, construction of which was started in 1685. The aqueduct was intended to transfer water from the Eure River to Versailles (some 80 kilometres or 50 miles away), to keep the fountains fed with water so they could flow day and night. At the time, the aqueduct was considered a blot on the castle’s landscape, for which Madame de Maintenon was given the title of marquise. Today, we romanticise the ruins. Louis XIV’s Nine Year’s War (1688 to 1697) were a strain on his finances and by 1695 work on the construction of the aqueduct stopped and was never to start again.
The ruined aqueduct in the grounds of the Château de Maintenon. Photograph © Laifen/Wikimedia
Visiting Château de Maintenon
Two parts of the château are accessible to visitors:
Madame de Maintenon’s 17th century apartment, which were also used by Marshal Adrien-Maurice Duke d’Ayen then Duke de Noailles.
The small 19th-century apartments that were designed by Duke Paul de Noailles and his wife Alicia de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Louis XIV’s bedroom for when he stayed at Maintenon, the large 19th-century apartments, and the grand gallery inspired by Louis Philippe’s galleries at the Château de Versailles and the Château d’Eu.
Visitors are also able to walk around the French formal gardens and walk to the remains of the aqueduct.
Visitors are free to explore the castle, the formal gardens and aqueduct by themselves; included in the entry fee is a free guide. brochure Individuals can visit the château on a self-guided basis. An audio guide of the château de Maintenon is also available and can take anywhere between half an hour and three hours to complete. Guided tours in French only are offered at 14h30 each day the site is open from the end of March to the end of September.
Château de Maintenon
Period 12 – 18th Century
Planning Your Visit
14 February to 31 March &
1st September to 30 November:
Tuesday to Friday – 14h00 to 19h00
Saturday & Sunday – 10h30 to 19h00
1st April to 30 June:
Daily except Mondays – 10h30 to 19h00
1st July to 31 August:
Daily 10h30 to 19h00
Last admission an hour before closing.
Adults: €8.50 or €10.00 with guided tour
Children 7 to 18: €4.00
Address Place Aristide Briand, 28130 Maintenon, Eure-et-Loire, Centre – Loire Valley
Telephone +33 (0)2 37 23 00 09
How to get to Château de Maintenon from Paris
The town of Maintenon is a 50-minute train trip from Gare Montparnasse in Paris. From the station, the entrance to the château is an easy 15-minute walk through the castle estate. Maintenon is on the same train line as Chartres Cathedral, and both can easily be visited on the same day.
Tips, Information & Advice for Visiting Paris
For more suggestions on what to see and where to go in Paris, with more tips and recommendations, see our Paris City Guide.
Consider a Paris Museum Pass or a Paris Pass.
Every effort is made to ensure the information provided here is up-to-date. Details such as opening hours and entrance fees can change with little notice. Take the information provided here as a guide, and confirm these by visiting the official website listed (where possible). And by all means, please do make contact if the information requires updating.