Vincennes is a commune in the Val-de-Marne department in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. It is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe.
The Marquis de Sade was imprisoned in Vincennes fortress in 1777, where he remained (mainly: he escaped for a little over a month in 1778), until February 1784, when Vincennes fortress was closed and de Sade was transferred to the Bastille. In 1929, the commune of Vincennes lost about half of its territory when the city of Paris annexed the Bois de Vincennes, a large part of which belonged to the commune of Vincennes.
In 1821, the noted French poet, Alfred de Vigny, wrote his poem La Prison, which details the last days of The Man in the Iron Mask at Vincennes.
In 1849, a test was conducted on Claude-Étienne Minié's invention the Minié ball which would prove successful and years later be adopted by the French army. Vincennes was also the site of some famous European colonial expositions in the 20th century in which fairs were held to showcase artifacts from former European colonies.