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The bridges

Ponts du château de château de Pierrefonds

You have certainly crossed them without even noticing, and yet the bridges are an essential part of the castle, both for its access and for its defensive system.

Small wooden bridges

Have you noticed that the castle has two kinds of bridges?

Indeed, the National Domain of castle of Pierrefonds is a real lesson of medieval military architecture in the open air. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, the architect of the monument we know today, integrated all known medieval defensive systems.

Thus, when you reached the courtyard of honor, you crossed the two standing bridges and the drawbridge of the castle.

Do you know what the difference is between these two types of bridges? We explain you!

Pont-Levis du château de Pierrefonds
Pont-Levis du château de Pierrefonds

© S.Leleu/Centre des Monuments Nationaux

The drawbridge and the standing bridges

The drawbridge, the most known, is the largest bridge of the castle of Pierrefonds. It serves as a door, and can therefore be lowered to allow access, or raised to forbid entry to intruders . This drawbridge is also called "coach bridge". . It can support a maximum load of 3.4 tons!

Just to the left, there is another bridge, narrower. This is the pedestrian bridge, which blocks the access to the ticket office.

Retrace your steps: right at the entrance to the castle are the sleeping bridges. The defenders of the castle just have to lift them up to make them fall about ten meters down to the bottom of the moat and slow down the enemy. The bridge remains immobile in its daily use, it is called "dormant".

Pont-Levis du château de Pierrefonds
Pont-Levis du château de Pierrefonds depuis le second châtelet

© S.Leleu/Centre des Monuments Nationaux

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