Located 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Paris, the magnificent Château d’Écouen (one of the best preserved Renaissance castles in France and an architectural attraction in its own right) houses the Ecouen Museum of the Renaissance. The collection, showcased alongside the chateau’s original fixtures, includes furniture, glassware, ceramics, silverware, tapestries, paintings, weapons and stained glass from the Renaissance period — the only museum of its kind in France.
Not to be missed are the 10 sixteenth-century tapestries depicting the Biblical story of David and Bethsabe, the collection of silverware from baron Salomon de Rothschild and ceramics by Bernard Palissy unearthed during an excavation of the Louvre. The estate’s twelve hand-painted fireplaces are just as impressive as any piece in the collection.
Ecouen Museum of the Renaissance is closed on Tuesdays and free on the first Sunday of each month.