Château de Chantilly – one of the best known sights in France

Château de Chantilly is a historic sight situated in Chantilly, France. Grand Château is one of the attached buildings, and after being destroyed in the French Revolution it was rebuilt around 1870s. The other attached building was petit Château and this was built in 1560s, and was meant for Anne de Montmorency.

The Musée Condé is the name used when referring to Château houses, and they belong to the Institut de France. The Musée Condé is among the country’s finest art galleries and is open to the public.

The connection of the estate with the family of Montmorency began in 1484. Between 1528 and 1531, the first mansion was built by Pierre Chambiges, and was meant for Anne de Montmorecy, a Constable.

The Grand Château is the one that has replaced the first mansion. Around 1560, Jean Bullant built the Petit Château for him too. In 1632, when Henry II had already died, the Grand Condé inherited it. This inheritance was made through his mother, who was a Montmorency.

Château de Chantilly photo
Photo by jpboiste

A number of historical pieces are connected with the Château in the 17th century. A play by Molière had its initial performance in this place, in the year 1659.

According to Madame de Sévigné’s memoirs, when Louis XIV paid a visit in 1671, François Vatel, who was Grand Condé’s maître d’hôtel, committed suicide because of fear of fish being served late.

The destruction of the original mansion happened to be during the French Revolution. However, the last Condé repaired it in a way that was modest. However, the entire property ended up being confiscated from the family of Orléans. This was from 1853 to 1872, and during the interval, Coutts, which was an English bank was the owner.

Between 1875 and 1881, Chantilly was rebuilt entirely, according to Honore Daumet designs. This new Château was met with differing reviews.

Château de Chantilly photo
Photo by Auré from Paris

In Musée Condé which was the art gallery of château you will find one of the country’s finest painting collections. French paintings as well as book illuminations belonging to the 15th to 16 centuries feature special strength. Most of the art gallery’s works are found within the Tribune Room.

Petit château’s library has more than 1300 manuscripts, as well as 12,500 printed volumes. This includes a Gutenburg Bible which is part of a collection with more than 700 incunabula. There is also the 200medieval manuscripts, and also includes a page from the Registrum gregorii.

Château de Chantilly photo
Photo by Jared625

The park features water fall and extensive parterresand was laid out for Grand Condé. The park also contains the French landscape garden that has a cascade, rustic ersatz village, and pavillions. The rustic ersatz village is the Hameau de Chantilly and was the source of inspiration for hameau de la reine in the Versailles Gardens.

The Chantilly racecourse and the great stables are overlooked by the estate. The Great Stables contain the museum for horses. The legend called Louis Henri believed that upon his death, he would become a horse through reincarnation.

Related: Best Places in France

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