Situated in a proud solitude in the middle of forest and surrounded with moats with water, Chantilly is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the province of Ile-de-France. This castle is a separate world with its own gardens and parks, wonderful works of art and, what the most important, with rich history. When you get to this place, you plunge into the atmosphere of an aristocratic France of the eighteenth century immediately. The halls of the palace were restored and furnished as at those times, the library is full of books. Coming in the apartments it seems that the owners just went out and will be back soon.
Castle of Chantilly has two separate buildings: Grand and Petit castles. The first one was built in a popular architectural style of Renaissance and belonged to the famous Prince of Conde. During the French Revolution this part of the castle was used as a prison and later it was destroyed. Today’s Grand Chantilly we can see only thanks to the Duke l’Omal, who had reconstructed it from the ruins. Entered into possession, the Duke regained the estate and created here a rich collection of works of art. According to his will the castle passed into the ownership of Institute of France after his death.
The museum of the castle represents paintings of French, Italian, German, Dutch, Flemish, English artists of the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries. There are more than two thousand works of graphic art, manuscripts, literary works. Among the authors we can mark out such names as Raphael, Watteau, Van Dyck, Poussin.
Today the park of Chantilly maintains its former shape, which it received from the creator – the famous master André Le Nôtre, – with beautiful fountains and artificial ponds.
From the old times the castle of Chantilly attracts lovers of riding, who come here for the horse races or to visit the Museum of horses and ponies, housed in beautiful castle stables. These stables, built by the order of Henri-Louis of Bourbon for more than 200 horses, are the hallmark of the castle that distinguishes it from others.
Visiting the castle of Chantilly – it is an opportunity to get acquainted with the lifestyle of French nobility in the period of luxury, art, fashion, which took place of permanent war and feats of arms of French aristocracy.
From Paris you can take a train from Gare du Nord to the station Chantilly-Gouvieux.