Château de Pierrefonds: View of original ruins in front of rebuilt castle
With the exterior Viollet-le-Duc showed an excellent knowledge of the military architecture of the 14th century.
From 1393 to his death in 1407, Louis, Duke of Orléans had the castle rebuilt by the court architect, Jean le Noir. In March 1617 the castle was besieged and largely destroyed. In the nineteenth century it became a popular "romantic ruin". Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III of France) visited the castle in 1850. As emperor, he asked Viollet-le-Duc in 1857 to undertake its restoration (which is more of a re-imagining of the site in the interiors).