Chantilly Castle

The Château de Chantilly is a priceless jewel of French heritage, holding treasures of incredible value, surrounded by a wonderful park.

Located in the heart of the Nonette valley, some 50 kilometres north of Paris, the Château de Chantilly invites you to discover the richness of the French monarchical heritage.

The Château de Chantilly is one of the jewels of French heritage, fruit of the will of a man of exceptional destiny: Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of the last king of the French, Louis-Philippe. The prince, considered the greatest collector of his time, made Chantilly the setting for his countless masterpieces and precious manuscripts.

The castle has survived the centuries thanks to its donation in 1886 to the Institut de France, which has preserved it over time, enhancing its priceless treasures.

Things to do at Chantilly Castle

Built in the middle of a marshy area, the castle covers 7,800 hectares in the heart of one of the largest forests around Paris, the Three Forests massif (Chantilly, Halatte, Ermenonville).

A majestic princely residence, the Château de Chantilly, whose first fortifications date back to the Middle Ages, has been constantly extended and restored by the architects of its illustrious owners. The Orgemonts, Montmorency, Condé and especially the Duc d’Aumale made the estate an aristocratic stronghold.

Over the centuries, they built an environment that housed sumptuous flats and collections of priceless works of art, preserving the building, from generation to generation, from decay. Today, the estate offers an exceptional example of 19th-century architecture perfectly inspired by Renaissance architecture.

The large flats

Located on the 1st floor of the château, the large flats served as reception and living quarters for the Bourbon-Condé princes.

A splendid example of the ceremonial decoration appreciated in the 18th century, they offer a wide variety of works of art, furniture and paintings by masters. These areas, largely looted during the Revolution, were restored in the 19th century by the Duc d’Aumale, who collected, acquired or inherited valuable works of art and furniture from the royal family or royal châteaux in order to restore the grandeur and splendour of the time of the Princes of Condé.

You will visit theAntechamber and the Guard Room, set up to link the Grand Château to the former Petit Château, the large corner cupboard, which served as the Prince of Condé’s office, where he received his audiences, the Prince’s Room, with its white and gold panelling, characteristic of the rocaille style, the Boudoir, entirely decorated with motifs depicting the actions of men in the form of monkeys, to make fun of their quirks, the Gallery of the Great Battle, which presents a series of eleven canvases illustrating, in chronological order, the main victories of the Grand Condé, and finally the Music Room.

The Private Apartments

The private flats of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale are located on the ground floor of the Petit Château. The Duke of Aumale had them fitted out in 1845-1847 by the romantic painter and decorator Eugène Lami, shortly after his marriage. It is the only princely flat of the monarchy that has remained intact.

Accessible by guided tour and only in small groups, these living quarters, steeped in memories, are an exclusive testimony to the intimacy of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale.

You can admire the Guise Salon, which houses several family portraits, the Duchess’s Room, furnished with a four-poster bed and Louis XV-style upholstered armchairs, the Purple Salon, round in shape, the Little Monkey Room, a small bodoir decorated with monkeys imitating the actions of the aristocracy, the Duke’s Room, furnished with a military bed and a top hat desk, the Salon des Condé, in memory of Louis d’Orléans, Prince of Condé, eldest son of the Duke of Aumale, who died of an illness at the age of 21, and finally the Marble Room, decorated in the French Renaissance style.

The Art Galleries

The Duke of Aumale designed the picture galleries to provide a setting for his exceptional collections. The Musée Condé houses the largest collection of old paintings in France, second only to the Louvre Museum. It houses more than 800 paintings and almost 4,000 drawings: Raphaël, Clouet, Poussin, Watteau, Ingres, to name but a few of the illustrious artists.

The route through the collections is a plunge into the history of art but also into a museum universe that preserves the memory of the 19th century: the collections are in fact presented, according to the donor’s wishes, as they were during his lifetime.

The room called the Sanctuary is designed as a showcase and presents the masterpieces of the Duke of Aumale. It brings together two works by Raphael: The Three Graces and The Madonna of the House of Orleans, a panel from the Story of Esther by Sandro Botticelli and 40 miniatures by Jean Fouquet for Le Livre d’Heures d’Étienne.

The Gallery is dedicated to the Renaissance with Beato Angelico, Botticelli, Titian, as well as the French and Flemish with Poussin, Van Dyck, Watteau and the Neoclassical current (Ingres) on the one hand and Romanticism (Delacroix) on the other.

The Clouet Cabinet brings together a collection of 90 Renaissance portraits, including all the 16th century kings and queens of France painted by Jean Clouet and his son, François Clouet. The Giotto Cabinet, on the other hand, contains Italian works including a work depicting The Dormition of the Virgin that was considered to be by Giotto at the time of its acquisition.

The Gallery of Psyche boasts 44 grisaille stained glass windows, which tell the story of Psyche, taken from Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, while the Deer Gallery is where the Duke of Aumale welcomed the entire artistic and intellectual elite of his time on Sundays.

The Books Cabinet

The Château de Chantilly houses one of the richest libraries in France. The treasures accumulated by the various owners of Chantilly were completed and magnified with passion by the Duke of Aumale, who was the greatest bibliophile of his time. The Library, fitted out by the architect Honoré Daumet at the end of the 19th century, frames the manuscripts of the Princes of Condé and the treasures of the Duc d’Aumale.

Of the 60,000 volumes in the Chantilly collection, almost 19,000 are present and visible to the public, with 1,500 manuscripts and 17,500 printed books covering all fields of knowledge. The valomi, the oldest of which dates back to the 10th century, include 200 medieval illuminated manuscripts. The printed works include around 700 incunabula (first printed before 1501) and 2,500 extremely rare printed books from the 16th century.

The world’s most precious manuscript, The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry, is also located here. Wonderfully rich in miniatures and very fragile, it cannot be exhibited permanently and visitors are invited to discover it in digital form and in high definition.

The gardens of Chantilly Castle

Covering an area of 115 hectares, the Château de Chantilly park brings together different periods of creation: the French-style garden designed by André Le Nôtre in the 17th century, the Anglo-Chinese garden at the end of the 18th century and the English-style garden at the beginning of the 19th century. It thus offers a unique testimony to the relationship between man and nature in the West for more than three centuries.

The French Garden

The French garden at Chantilly is undoubtedly the most scenic on the estate. It includes vast expanses of water reflecting the sky, numerous water jets and fountains, as well as an exceptional set of statues.

Designed in the second half of the 17th century by André Le Nôtre, gardener at Versailles, for Louis II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, the French-style garden at Chantilly is a rare example of a layout whose axis is offset from the château and is distinguished by the exceptional size of its ponds and the number of its fountains.

Its complete restoration in 2009 made it possible, with the utmost respect for ancient techniques, to rediscover all theingenuity of the hydraulic network, which in its time was considered a unique feat and thanks to which the water jets reach a height of up to 5 metres.

The French garden is characterised by a strict geometric layout, often symmetrical, composed of flowerbeds, groves and ponds, punctuated by statues and enlivened by magical water features. It symbolises the triumph of order over disorder, of culture over wild nature, of reflection over spontaneity. With its theatrical staging of the garden, it is intended to surprise the visitor with its perspective effects.

The Anglo-Chinese Garden

Designed in 1773 by the architect Jean-François Leroy, the Anglo-Chinese garden houses the Hameau. It consisted of seven small houses (today only five remain) of rustic appearance, built on the model of those of Marie-Antoinette at the Petit Trianon in Versailles. Their modest exterior contrasted with the luxurious and striking interior decoration.

The Anglo-Chinese garden quickly became one of the park’s main attractions. After tiring themselves out on hunts and walks, courtiers would gather here to eat and enjoy themselves. The garden originally comprised a combination of gastronomic landscapes with a flourishing orchard, vine and mill, orange trees during the summer months and all the houses in the Hameau were surrounded by small vegetable gardens, fruit trees and flower beds.

Unlike the French garden, the Anglo-Chinese garden seeks to imitate the wild side of nature, to enhance its poetry, carefully combining volumes and planted buildings, surrounded by dense vegetation and punctuated by small structures for decorative purposes.

The English Garden

A bucolic place par excellence, the English garden was designed during the Restoration of 1817 by the architect Victor Dubois. Rendered idyllic by romantic constructions such as the Island of Love or the Temple of Venus, it also contains a large area of water: the Cascades de Beauvais.

Rejecting the geometric layout and rigid perspectives of the French garden, the English garden draws its inspiration from Romanticism. In this conception, space is understood as landscape and work of art . The aim is to imitate nature and its wild side to enhance the poetry of a place, evoking Antiquity, from which he draws references to Venus and Eros.

The large stables

An architectural masterpiece of the 18th century, the Grand Stables were built as a real palace dedicated to horses, built from 1719 to 1735.

A true show stable, where passion for horses and the equestrian arts come together, the building houses an equestrian company that offers original creations all year round to amaze young and old alike, equestrian shows including the unmissable Christmas tales.

The Horse Museum

Inaugurated in 2013, the museum houses a rich collection of equestrian works of art and equipment, displayed in the 15 rooms of the Great Stables courtyard. The topics covered present the evolution of the horse in all civilisations.

The collections are of remarkable artistic quality: from 6th century Chinese ceremonial horses to jousting horses from the 1930s, including precious hard stone inlays depicting dressage figures. You can also admire numerous stirrups, saddles and bits that testify to the diversity of practices and forms of equestrian equipment throughout the world.

Tickets and opening hours

The castle is open daily from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the park closes at 6 p.m. Last admission 1 hour before the ticket office closes. The weekly closing day is Tuesday.

The estate is also open on 25 December and 1 January while there is an annual closure from 3 to 20 January.

A dedicated ticket must be purchased to access the gardens.

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The Château de Chantilly is a haven of peace and tranquility, not far from Paris. Pack a picnic, bring the whole family, and give yourself the whole day to explore one of the biggest forests in the area as well as a real prince's castle.

Guided tours of Chantilly Castle

The private flats of the Duke and Duchess can only be visited with a guided tour. They are located on the ground floor of the Petit Château. They are the only completely preserved princely flats of the monarchy in France. The duration of the visit is approximately 45 minutes.

In addition, from 19 December to 02 January, you can experience the magic of Christmas by discovering the treasures in the collections and admiring the Theatre Library, which is exceptionally open during the holidays. This special guided tour takes place every day except Tuesdays from 11.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Events and activities at Chantilly Castle

In addition to visiting the castle and its richly decorated rooms, you can explore the 115-hectare estate by horse-drawn carriage, bicycle or in a comfortable little train. In addition, the waterways are navigable by pedalo or small electric boats for hire.

Children, on the other hand, can enjoy exploring the park with a giant goose treasure hunt or with the Atlantis project, a geo-localised survey game, to experience an exciting adventure.

The castle is the setting for numerous annual events such as the Triathlon and the Pic Nic in white.

Where to stay near Chantilly Castle

There are several luxury hotels, charming manor houses and charming B&Bs in the countryside near Chantilly Castle.

Alternatively, you can also visit the castle on a day trip by sleeping in Paris, which is only 1 hour away from Chantilly.

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How to reach Chantilly Castle from Paris

Chantilly Castle is located 20 minutes from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and 40 km from the centre of Paris. After hiring a car on site, you can easily reach it using the A3 and/or A1 motorways, Chantilly exit or the D316 and D317.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to travel by transport from Paris, then you have two options. You can take a TER train from Paris Gare du Nord station to Chantilly-Gouvieux, which takes 25 minutes. There is a TER + day ticket package for €25 that includes 1 return TER ticket (from a station in the Hauts-de-France region or from the Gare du Nord station to Chantilly-Gouvieux) + 1 ticket to visit the Château de Chantilly (castle, park, large stables). For children under 12 accompanied by an adult, the package is €1.

Alternatively, you can take the RER D from Paris Gare du Nord to Chantilly-Gouvieux in 45 minutes. From the RER station, you can reach Chantilly Castle in 10 minutes using the free shuttle bus or line 645 towards Senlis, Chantilly stop. On foot, you will need to allow approximately 20 minutes.

Useful information

Address

60500 Chantilly, France

Contacts

TEL: +33 3 44 27 31 80

Timetables

  • Monday: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thursday: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Friday: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00

Where is located Chantilly Castle

The Château de Chantilly is located about 50 km from the centre of Paris.

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