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Only 35 minutes from Paris and 20 minutes from the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, the Domaine de Chantilly is a verdant wonder. A perfect example of the art of the western garden, the layout designed by Le Nôtre in the 17th century alternates reflecting pools, fountains and refined statues. Meanwhile, the 18th century Anglo-Chinese garden and the 19th century English garden offer a different, more romantic ambiance, where Venus’ temple and the Island of Love sit amongst swans and birds. Around this 115-hectare plot, Chantilly forest is an ideal spot for a family walk, hunting on horseback or training horses.
Upon exiting the forest, you can’t help but be surprised and amazed to see the renaissance gem that is the Château de Chantilly suddenly looming up ahead! An estate owned by Louis II de Bourbon (1621-1686), known as the Grand Condé, the château was no stranger to literary luminaries, from La Fontaine to La Bruyère and Bossuet. The Grand Condé was also a great art lover and transformed the château into a prestigious residence housing all his works of art. It would also be the location for great parties where Vatel would preside over a table filled with the biggest names from the era. An exceptional place to be discovered without delay!
With its picture gallery, ornamentation, princely apartments and library, the Condé Museum, which is housed in the Château, is a French heritage gem. The Duc d’Aumale, who was a huge collector and Condé’s heir, continued enriching his museum with works by Poussin, Watteau, Raphael and Botticelli, to create the second biggest painting collection after the Louvre. The princely apartments are also uniquely beautiful, with furniture and precious objets d’art such as the illustrious 9.01-carat pink diamond. Finally, the immense library built up over time by the Duc d’Aumale houses a rare collection that shows just how much this man loved books!
Horses are a religion here, as evidenced by the large stables dating from the 18th century. Between the Horse Museum and the equestrian events featuring ‘haute-école’ dressage, the passion for horses is palpable. Both fun and educational, the Horse Museum offers enthusiasts and beginners alike the chance to discover the world of horse riding in all its glory. An unmissable day out for all the family, that can be combined with a race at the track situated just next to the stables and which hosts the Prix de Diane, Global Jumping, and the world’s biggest race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.