Château d'Ecouen was built for Anne de Montmorency. He was a patron of the arts and a protector of the Huguenots. His chapel is decorated with sculptures by Jean Goujon, Barthlémy Prieur and Bernard Palissy.
The château is arranged around a large courtyard and consists of
four wings, north and south, which were living quarters, and east
and west. There is a room of weapons, showcasing swords, knives,
crossbows and armour from the 16th century.
The apartments of Anne and his wife, Madeleine de Savoie, show the original furniture and tapestries. Beautifully adorned chimneys can be found in the tapestry room, as well as in other rooms.
After the death of Anne in 1567, the château remained in the family until 1696. Since then it has been used as a military prison and a hospital.
The Château d'Ecouen is a landmark of Renaissance architecture
in France and now houses a museum dedicated to that grand period,
Musée National de la Renaissance, which was opened in 1977. The
collection includes sculptures,
embroideries, paintings, furniture and stained glass, as well as a 75 metre tapestry, depicting the story of David and Bathsheba.