The Chantilly Domain expands over 20,000 acres of land, in the midst of one of the largest forests in the Paris region. It encompasses the chateau and adjoining Conde museum, its park and gardens, its Great Stables and the Horse museum it accommodates. Built by Anne de Montomorency and passed down from generation to generation, to Bourbon-Conde, cousins of Louis XIV and eventually bequeathed onto Henri of Orleans, duke of Aumale in the XIXth century. This ensemble thus portrays the essence of French patrimony in its various aspects, as one of the best examples of princely grandeur France has to offer.
The library and archives held in the solace of the Chantilly chateau gather splendid collection of works and written manuscripts gleaned along the centuries by a succession of lords of Chantilly and members of the Montomorency and Bourbon-Conde families. A treasure to which the duke of Aumale adjoined a number of pieces of his own choosing throughout the XIXth century. In this one room are shelved over 13,000 books, including 1,500 manuscripts and 500 early-printed books, providing a prestigious backdrop to the most precious manuscript known to the world: the XVth century Very Rich Hours of the Duc of Berry.
The Condé Museum
Enshrined within the Chantilly chateau, the Conde museum gathers the second largest collection of ancient paintings in France. This exceptional panorama of the history of Western Art was constructed by Henri of Orleans, duke of Aumale, the youngest of King Louis-Philippe’s sons. A knowledgeable Art collector and an impassioned bibliophile, Henri of Orleans spent a large part of his life acquiring artifacts that once belonged to his family. It was also one of his dearest projects to bring back to France the treasures it had lost to various wars and revolutions.
To this day and only in Chantilly, one can admire some of the most exquisite pieces authored by the likes of Clouet, Raphae l, Poussin, Watteau, Ingres or Delacroix...
The park and gardens
The park in its present aspect spreads over 600 acres, boasting a unique diversity in the gardens that compose it. Nowadays, it offers a grandiose vista of Western garden styles, from the French styles coined by Le Notre in the XVIIth century to the Hamlet that inspired Marie-Antoinette and witnessed the invention of the Chantilly whipped cream, with the addition of the Anglo-Chinese and English styled gardens, respectively from the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries. The historical maze and the birds roaming freely add the finishing touches to these charmed abodes.
The Great Stables
The Great Stables of the Chantilly Domain rank amongst the most famous in the world. Indeed, their flamboyant architecture constitutes a further artistic masterpiece where numerous princely festivities were hosted, which left a lasting mark on collective memory. Nowadays, the Great Stables gather optimal conditions to host dressage animations and equestrian shows. The Live Horse museum is home to 30 horses and a team of eight horsemen well versed in the subtleties of reaching out their diverse public.
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