Domaine de Chantilly
The Château de Chantilly is one of the finest jewels in the crown of France’s cultural heritage.
The Château de Chantilly is located in the Hauts-de-France Region, in Oise, 60 kilometres from Paris.
Shaped from the Middle Ages to the 19th century by its various owners, the history of the Domain of Chantilly is closely intertwined with the history of France.
The Middle Ages
The Château was originally a fortified building constructed on a pile of rock in the marshlands of the Nonette river valley, controlling the road from Paris to Senlis.
The Le BOUTEILLER family were the first lords of Chantilly.
In 1484, Guillaume de MONTMORENCY inherited the domain.
During the Renaissance
Constable Anne de Montmorency, companion-in-arms to François I, owned the château de Chantilly during the Renaissance.
Following the Italian Wars, during which the latter admired numerous palaces, he decided to build a château for summer residence and recreation, in the style of the French Renaissance, which was an adaptation of the Italian Renaissance style.
A Classical Era
In 1643, the Château was returned to Charlotte de Montmorency, wife of Henri II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé.
Louis II de Bourbon, their son and a cousin of the King, known as "the Grand Condé", organised a courtly life in Chantilly that was as vibrant as that of Versailles, inviting all the greatest artists of his time. This is how Le Nôtre came to design the sumptuous "French style" gardens here.
The Enlightenment (18th century)
1719: Louis-Henri, Duke of Bourbon, had his architect Jean Aubert design a new classical building on the foundations of the old fortified Château, as well as the Great Stables. The architect also designed part of the urban planning for the town of Chantilly.
After 1740: Louis-Joseph, Prince of Condé, continued his father’s work: construction of the Hamlet, the theatre (now gone), the Jeu de Paume and the château d’Enghien.
During the Revolution
1793: the domain was dismantled via the sale of land and purchase of the château in order to demolish the buildings and sell the stones. In fact they only demolished the "Grand Château".
The 19th century
1830: as the Duke of Bourbon had lost his son, the Duke of Enghien, he chose his grand-nephew, Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822-1897) and son of King Louis-Philippe as his heir.
1875: the Duke of Aumale decided to rebuild the "Grand Château" to house his collections and called on the architect Honoré Daumet to do this.
1886: As he had no heirs (his two sons died young), the Duke of Aumale left his entire domain to the Institut de France.
17 April 1898: The domain opened its doors to the public under the name of the "Condé museum".
The Château de Chantilly is one of the finest jewels in the crown of France’s cultural heritage. It is the work of Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of the last King of France, Louis-Philippe. Considered to be the greatest collector of his time, Henri d’Orléans made Chantilly the showcase for his countless masterpieces and precious manuscripts. The Château survived through the centuries and remains as it was when the Duke of Aumale bequeathed it to the Institut de France in 1886, making it the perfect place to take a journey back in time to the heart of a princely residence.
As a tribute to his illustrious predecessors, the Princes of Condé, the Duke of Aumale called the series of rooms housing his collection the "Condé Museum".
The Domaine de Chantilly covers an area of 7,800 hectares in the heart of one of the largest forests surrounding Paris. It comprises the castle and the Condé Museum, the parks and gardens, the Great Stables and The Living Museum of the Horse.
The castle houses the Condé Museum, which comprises the princely apartments, an exceptional collection of paintings (with more than 800 works of art by artists such as Botticelli, Raphaël, Poussin, Delacroix), a library and archives which conserve more than 19,000 works. The Duke of Aumale designed the art galleries to showcase his exceptional collections. He put together the second largest collection of antique paintings in France, after the Louvre Museum.
The park of the Château de Chantilly offers a grand panorama of the art of the Western garden with the French-style garden designed by André Le Nôtre in the 17th century, the Anglo-Chinese Garden in the 18th century (which houses the hamlet that served as a model for that of Mary Antoinette’s the Petit Trianon of Versailles), and the English Garden in the 19th century.
To conclude, the Great Stables are a veritable work of art of the 18th century architect. They house the Living Museum of The Horse which displays more than 200 items and works of art dedicated to the equine world. The Great Stables hold enchanting equestrian shows throughout the year.
This Domaine de Chantilly is a well-known place for many Indian tourists who enjoy a spectacular tour of one of the most magnificent castles of France. Many films have also been shot here, the last one being an Indian movie named Befikre starring Ranveer Singh and Vina Kapoor.