Domaine de Chantilly: A Jewel in the Crown of France
Domaine de Chantilly is a jewel in the crown of France with over 8 centuries of French history.
Located in one of the largest forests near Paris, the Domaine de Chantilly encompasses 7,800 hectares of land.
The stunning estate was owned by the same family, originally built in 1358 and was added on to over the years until the 19th century, after which the Duc uc d'Aumale, having no living heirs of his own, bequeathed the domaine to the Institut de France.
Home to one of the finest museums of historical paintings in France, Musée Condé is second only to The Louvre in Paris.
There are around 1,000 paintings, 2,500 drawings and 2,500 engravings, that are on display, dating from the Italian and French renaissance movements up to the 19th century.
Its outstanding collection includes the works of Delacroix, Botticelli, Memling, Van Dyke, Rubens, Poussin, Watteau, Ingres, Corot, Fra Angelico, and many more.
Its collection of historical paintings (2nd largest in France) has Raphael’s Virgin of the House of Orleans and the Three Graces.
There is also a gallery of portraits done by Jean and François Clouet, as well as a series of miniatures by Jean Fouquet.
The château also has a library that is full or rare books and precious manuscripts and there are around 30,000 books and about 1,500 manuscripts held here.
The “Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry,” a 15th century illuminated manuscript by the Limbourg brothers illustrating the months of the year is also one of its most treasured pieces.
It also has a renowned collection of jewelry, including the replica of the rose diamond that was stolen in 1926, a world-wide sensation at the time.
The Chateau de Chantilly also has a very large park with three gardens, according to the fashion of each period they were designed.
The French-style garden features the iconic Le Nôtre Flowerbed, in it's iconic geometric layout, with flowerbeds and elegant statues, amid graceful fountains and expansive ponds that mirrored the sky.
This theatrical setting was a stunning vantage point from which to admire the architectural elements of the château.
The garden was designed by Andre Le Nôtre Chantilly, who famously designed the gardens of Versailles.
The Anglo-Chinese Garden was created in the 18th century, reflecting the growing trend of Chinoiserie in French style.
The garden houses the Hamlet, made up of five small houses that are rustic in appearance. It served as the model for Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet in the Petit Trianon in Versailles.
The garden originally included a number of landscaped features relating to gastronomy, such as orchards and gardens with vegetables and a mill, and become a popular destination for refreshment and entertainment during hunts and long walks.
The English Garden was designed in the 19th century, on a part of Le Nôtre's gardens that were destroyed during the Revolution.
Enhanced with romantic structures such as the temple of Venus, and even an Island of Love, created by the Duke of Aumale in the 19th century as a venue for garden parties.
This small island, bordered by fountains and hedges, features a structure housing a statue of Eros, the God of Love, from whom it takes its name.
The gardens of the Domaine de Chantilly are a testament to man's triumph over nature in the quest for beauty and art.
Auberge du Jeu de Paume
A 4 star hotel can be found on the grounds of the Domaine, in the gardens of Chantilly, close to the Grand Stables.
With 92 bedrooms and suites, and with two highly-regarded restaurants, the hotel attracts a discerning clientelle.
Horseback riding and polo are are offered at the exclusive Chantille Polo Club, and there's also a a 6000-square foot Moorish spa, and there are two golf courses nearby.
Grand Stables (Grandes Écuries)
The Grand Stables were built by the architect Jean Aubert for Louis-Henri de Bourbon, the 7th prince of Condé in the 18th century, as a palace for horses.
The Grandes Écuries continue to be the largest stables in Europe.
Home to 240 horses and 400 hounds, and the troupe of the Great Stable takes part in over 150 events each year.
Combining a passion for horses and the arts, the Musée Vivant du Cheval located onsite presents the relationship between men and horses since the beginning of civilization.