Château de La Roche-Guyon

Château de La Roche-Guyon: Hours, Address, Château de La Roche-Guyon Reviews: 4/5

Château de La Roche-Guyon
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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485 reviews
Very good

David B
Pompano Beach, FL12 contributions
Great visit to the Chateau, we decided last minute to visit it rather than Bizy on our way leaving Giverny and heading back to Paris. It was very uncrowded and very unique built into a cliff side. If you are going to the top, it's a lot of walking on some difficult stairs, but it's worth the trip.
Written September 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Phoenix, AZ19 contributions
After several days spent at W.W. II sites in Normandy, we drove to Vernon, France, to spend the night before visiting Giverny. After a half day spent at the Claude Monet residence, we drove another fifteen minutes to Chateau de la Roche-Guyon. Founded as a fortress in the 12th century, it eventually became an impressive and imposing castle that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel appropriated for his headquarters during W.W. II. It was this aspect of its history that drew us and we were rewarded by being able to tour part of the residence as well as the bunker that Rommel had constructed. It is helpful to know something about the history before arriving as there is no brochure in English.
Written July 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cravant, France104 contributions
This is a difficult review to write, because I don't want to give too much away, to first time visitors. So the easy things first. The château towers over the town of La Roche-Guyon and is as impressive close to. Probably one of the most important sites to visit - certainly in the region and pretty much anywhere else. That is, if you are interested by past history as well as contemporary history, social history, architecture and design. WW2 has particular importance through the presence of Rommel and the conspirators to assassinate Hitler. There is so much to fascinate. Even though quite a few of the rooms are either empty or have specific items on display, this château is oozing ambience from significant events in its history and the extraordinary people who have lived there. Really advise that you read up about it before you visit. The shop is very good, but there is limited detail about the history, and without it, you'll walk through certain rooms, and not realise the significance of where you've just been. Definitely worth walking from the bottom to the top, which is quite high up and at times steep and dimly lit, but nonetheless safe underfoot. The pigeonnier is quite stunning and the keep, with the most beautiful view across the Seine. Wonderful place. So pleased we went. Don't miss it.
Written May 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paris, France1,055 contributions
I knew nothing about the Château de La Roche-Guyon before a friend, who lives in the region, took me there for a visit and was very happy at the discovery. The château dates from the 12th century and sits at the summit of a steep chalk promontory strategically overlooking the pretty Seine and Epte Valleys in the Val-D’Oise department in Île-de-France on the Seine River. It gets its name in part from the family of Guy de La Roche, lords of the fiefdom in the 10th and 11th centuries but then passed to the Silly family in the late 1470’s until 1628 when it went to the Rohan-Chabot family. The domain of La Roche-Guyon finally came to the La Rochefoucauld family (one of the most famous families of French nobility) in 1659 and it still is today, although there was a brief period between 1816-1829 when it belonged to the Dukes of Rohan. The château then went through large extensions in the 18th century.

This château was unlike any I have ever seen. The site is unique and has a fascinating history in that it has a 12th century feudal keep, troglodyte dwellings, 13th century manor, was occupied by the British from 1419-1439, has 18th century stables, and was used by the Germans during World War II. There is a secret passage from the fortress below that leads up to the keep. It was actually dug through the chalk cliff. It is a steep and mysterious climb but well worth it for the incredible views at the top, of the village, the Seine and surrounding areas. Be warned, it is steep and if you have difficulty walking or are with very small children, then it might be very difficult to get to the top. Also, hold onto to the railings. A woman had fallen while I was there and was nearly fully covered in white chalky dust, but was not seriously injured fortunately. The troglodyte pigeon loft is of particular interest on the way up.

One interesting aspect of the château’s history is that during World War II, the Germans built a bunker here to defend neighboring Normandy from the Allies and the château was also the headquarter for the German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel while the La Rochefoucauld family was still in residence on an upper level. Caves were built into the cliff to house ammunitions with armored doors, which can be visited today. Rommel knew that the defeat of the Nazis was inevitable by the beginning of 1944 and held many secret meetings at the château with members of the Reich. La Roche-Guyon was heavily bombed by the Allies on the 24th of August, 1944, but the Germans had already completely evacuated the village a week earlier (Rommel even earlier as he had been seriously injured by an allied bombing of his car), and therefore the bombing was unfortunately completely unnecessary. 68 bombs had hit the village and 8 had struck the château, destroying mostly everything in their wake.

The property still belongs to the House of La Rochefoucauld, one of the oldest surviving French noble families, but has been opened to the public since 1994. It is a classified national monument and is managed by a public cultural establishment. You’ll see that parts of the château/grounds are in a sad state of disrepair. I hope they’ll be able to find the funds to renovate and maintain this wonderful site. There isn’t a huge amount of furniture/objects in the château because a lot of it was sold off in an auction in 1987 after the death of the Duchess of La Roche-Guyon in 1984, but what is there, is interesting, such as the four tapestries that decorate one of the 18th century salons in their original location.

There are toilet facilities inside the nice bookshop at the entry/exit. For Impressionist fans, an interesting fact is that Claude Monet painted the château and surroundings in the early 1880’s.
Written August 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

D. Brian Mann
Murrayville, GA551 contributions
I've been traveling in Normandy and elsewhere in France for 30 years, but had never had a chance to visit this attraction. Any WWII historian or teacher of French language, history, or culture should visit this site. It is very well maintained, and even on the summer day we went, it was not too crowded. I strongly recommend climbing to the top even though it is physically challenging. The view of the river valley is breathtaking!
Written February 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Woking, UK160 contributions
In spite of the fact that I visited in November on a cold, grey day, this was still a very interesting place to visit. In sunshine with warmer weather and the garden more "alive", it would be fantastic.
I was also unlucky in that, because of essential maintenance, the castle on the cliffs and the associated stair from the lower chateau were closed but, in spite of that, there was still more than enough to satisfy the cultural and historical curiosity. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Written November 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peter H
Leeds, UK273 contributions
I cajoled my wife into visiting and she actually enjoyed it ! Reasonably priced you get a little sheet to guide you round the chateau with a bit of info about each location. You take it at your own pace and linger where you want. Very few visitors when we were there so nice and relaxed. The rooms are a little bare but you still get an idea of how it was in its prime. The hike up the steps to the top of the old castle is well worth it for the view. The steps at one point are carved out of solid rock into the hillside and are very steep. There were some modern art installations in Rommels old munitions store which were quite interesting.
All in all we enjoyed it - OK it's not Verseilles - but then you're not getting jostled by the crowds either. If you're in La Roche Guyon ( which is a nice little town) then the chateau is worth a visit.
Written August 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Greater London, UK224 contributions
Well worth visiting for its extraordinary position and sweeping views from the top .Reasonable information but not enough on it's role in world war 2 .
Written June 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

East Kilbride80 contributions
Hands up, I'm a War enthusiast. The history part, not the fighting bit. I went to the Chateau for one reason, its connection with Erwin Rommel. Truthfully there is, apart from a bunker with nothing relevant to WW2 in it, not much to see as regards Rommel. So if your interest is purely like me its a waste of time going. But you'd be wrong, I was. Okay little, to do with WW2 but the place is well worth a visit. Its a lovely wee gem and worth seeing and it has an interesting history. The walk round is well worth the trouble. When we visited they had a chairs exhibit "thing" going, not my biggest interest, but nice to see. The chateau is trying to grow and it does have some signage in English but overall still well worth the visit. When we were there one of the curators took some time to explain things to us, which was a good touch. My only advice to the Chateau, use and develop your link to Rommel. I don't mean them to get tanks and guns, but play on the perhaps the social side, which rooms did he use, what was done in each room.
Written September 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paris298 contributions
Forty-six miles (74 kms) north of Paris the village of La Roche-Guyon is superb for a day trip from Paris – and even for an overnight stay.

The village is small with just over 500 inhabitants, but this is by no means a drawback, as you will have the feeling of being in deepest France - la France profonde - but Paris will be almost at touching distance.

The village’s main attraction is the château. Its entry fee is €7.80 and the château is open every day of the week from 10 am to 6 pm in summer and 5 pm in winter. It is not a château as such, but rather a fortress built into the limestone hill behind it.

Indeed, after D-Day in 1944, Reichsmarshal Erwin Rommel, had made the château his headquarters in order to keep the Allies from getting to Paris.

The view from the fortress’s keep (I will now call it a fortress) – donjon – is fantastic: you will look down over the village and the bordering River Seine, barges slowly sailing to and from Paris.

Provided you have a healthy heart and two good lungs you must climb the 250 steps up to the top of the keep. Know though that these are steep, winding and the steps are not of the same depth and width, and but for a dozen or so steps, you will be climbing inside the hill. Therefore if you have a problem with claustrophobia this may not be for you.

Once you’ve seen the fortress and its blockhouses which the Germans had built, and its troglodyte chapel, and its dovecotes, and you’ve climbed up to the top of the keep, do walk around the village’s cobbled streets. The door of the village’s church – the Église Saint Samson (Saint Samson) is not always unlocked, but not to worry, walk around the church and go and see the charming troglodyte houses.

You can also walk down to the river and sit there on the grass for a while.

I highly recommend that you stop at the tearoom (salon de thé) 'Cuisine en Seine'. They serve delicious cakes and sweet pies in the afternoon, and at a price 50% cheaper than in Paris. The address is No. 1 Rue du Docteur Duval, and it is across from the castle: you will not be able to miss it.

If you wish to stay for the night, the village’s hotel border the river. The name is the 'Les Bords de Seine' and a single room is €70 a night and a double is €120. The hotel has a restaurant with a menu at around €19.90.

La Roche-Guyon is not difficult to get to.

You take a Transilien train from Paris’s Gare Saint-Lazare railroad station. There is no railroad station in La Roche-Guyon so you have to go to the town of Mantes La Jolie. It will take about 30 minutes. Outside the Mantes La Jolie railroad station you take the TIM bus 95-11 to La Roche-Guyon. You get off at the Mairie (townhall). The fortress will be ahead of you on the right.

Returning from La Roche-Guyon is somewhat more of a difficulty as the last bus for Mantes La Jolie leaves just after 2 pm which will be too early to leave the village.

You therefore need to take TIM BUS 95-42 from beside the townhall. There is a bus at 5.49 pm and this bus will have as direction La Goulée. You have to get off in the town of Vétheuil and there you will have to take another bus to get back to Mantes la Jolie. This second bus is TIM bus 95-11 and it will take you to the Mantes la Jolie railroad station. There are many trains from there to Paris.

The best is to buy a Mobilis Zone 1-5 transport ticket which will be for the train and the buses. It will cost €16.60 and will be valid until midnight.

Know that the village has no shops, and just one small food store which closes during lunch time and remains closed all day Thursday. And the village has just one bakery which also closes during lunch time to reopen at 3 pm - and it is closed all day on Monday. There is also no chemist, so if you get a headache and did not take your painkillers with you, you will just have to grin and bare it until you get back to Mantes-la-Jolie.

The bus ride (it is a coach in fact) from Mantes-la-Jolie is really pleasant and picturesque, so keep your camera ready to start snapping.

Another plus is that the locals - the 'Guyonnais' (males) and the 'Guyonnaises' (females) – are friendly.
Written April 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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