The Château-Neuf or New Palace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was built starting in 1556 and served as a royal palace for over a century. It was a huge palace in its day, but large parts of it were demolished in the 18th century. Now one of the few remnants, the Pavillon Henri IV, is used as a restaurant.

Louis XIV was born here

In 1638 King Louis XIII (= the 13th) and his wife Anne of Austria (who despite her name was more Spanish than anything else) finally managed after twenty-two years of unhappy marriage to produce a male heir, Louis-Dieudonné (Louis the God-given), who was born in the Château-Neuf. Five years later Louis XIII died, also in the Château-Neuf, and his young son became King Louis XIV (= the 14th).

Unlike his father (but like his grandfather Henri IV), Louis XIV turned out to be a prodigious womanizer who fathered six legitimate children by his Spanish wife Maria Theresa and numerous illegitimate children by a succession of glamorous mistresses. He reigned for 72 years, until his death in Versailles in 1715.

Grape fields and Pavillon Henri IV

Location and aerial view of the remains of Château-Neuf on

My photos in this post are from 2015. I revised the text in 2019.

See more posts on Louis XIII and Louis XIV.

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