Embracing château life at Chantilly

As I was largely left to my own devices this Easter weekend, I decided to spend my Saturday visiting the Château de Chantilly, which is just a 25 minute train ride northwest from Paris. So far I have visited six different châteaux in France, yet each one is so beautiful and unique that I never grow tired of seeing them. Château de Chantilly was no exception. It was built between the 14th and 19th centuries and remains largely the way its last owner – the Duke of Aumale, son of King Louis-Philippe – left it when he died in 1897. As a result, its interiors are some of the most beautiful I have seen – plus it is home to one of the largest collections of paintings in France, second only to the Louvre!

dsc06319_25474098523_o
I gave in and got the English map…

dsc06458_26050628436_o

dsc06339_25984151482_o

I spent a good five hours exploring the château, the grounds, and the nearby museum of the horse (where I got to see a free dressage demonstration with a bunch of French school children, yay!), and it was nice to be able to see everything at my own pace. I think I spent at least 10 minutes in the library alone, which was like a mini version of the library from Beauty and the Beast!

dsc06356_26050738456_o
Home to 13,000 books!
dsc06359_25471901984_o
A tiny illuminated manuscript

The library was one of the first rooms in the “new” apartments constructed after the originals were destroyed during the French Revolution and, unlike some other châteaux I have seen, they were brimming with furniture and art.

dsc06367_26050728286_o
The Guard Room
dsc06373_25474053583_o
The Prince’s Chamber
dsc06391_25474040503_o
The Music Room
dsc06383_25803791000_o
The Battle Gallery

A separate, older wing of the house contained the painting galleries, parts of which look like they were taken straight out of the Louvre.

dsc06405_25984101942_o
The Stag Gallery
dsc06412_25471862014_o
Literal golden spoons in the service gallery!
dsc06414_26010280691_o
Welcome to the Louvre?

dsc06416_25474023363_o

dsc06431_26010271161_o
Baby Jesus is very unimpressed lol!

Then at 2:30 p.m. it was time to check out the dressage demonstration, which was completely fascinating (and I was surprised by how much horse-training related French vocabulary I understood haha!) I haven’t ridden a horse in several years, but after seeing all those beautiful horses – and the skill involved in training them – I would definitely like to try it again soon!

dsc06486_25465801603_o
What a beautiful horse, I think they said it was a Spanish breed?

dsc06491_25795547860_o

Finally, I spent the rest of my time exploring the château grounds, where I found some more animal life, and even offered several elderly French couples directions (really I did a lot of pointing to the map, but I spoke some French too :P).

dsc06464_25471783804_o

dsc06498_26042462206_o
French lady bugs?

dsc06502_25975867052_o

All in all it was a lovely day of château exploring, at this point I will have to start traveling farther from Paris if I want to add more châteaux to my sightseeing resume!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s