Chateau de Chantilly

It must be 10 years or more since I have been to Chateau de Chantilly. I think the last time was either autumn or spring, as I remember it being misty and distinctly muddy underfoot in the gardens.

Chantilly is an easy train ride on the fast “ter” train – not to be confused with the slow ‘RER’ suburban train. It is 25 minutes on the “ter” train from Gare du Nord to Chantilly, and a 2km walk to the Chateau. There are a number of walking paths – last time I took the (even longer) way round through the village, but this time take the walking path through the woods, which offer some welcome shade and a cool breeze on another warm day.


The other memory of the last visit is the Living Museum of the Horse. At the time, it was really no more than a section of the Grand Stables of the Chateau, with an equestrian ring. The new museum was inaugurated last month, and has utilised the majority of the ground floor area of the stables building (which is built around a large central courtyard. It has clearly had a lot of money spent on it to restore the interior and exterior of the building, and to create the museum space. Again, there are few visitors in the museum, perhaps due to the fact that it is during the lunch period. The chateau itself has more visitors, but is still not particularly busy, which is good.


The Princes of Conde were collectors  – of antiquities, horses, dogs, paintings, silverware etc. There are as many paintings of the Duc’s favourite horse and dog as there are of his many (royal) relatives. They also collected souvenirs from Pompeii and Egypt, which are on display. Perhaps the most unfortunate are the pair of lion skins on display, these poor moth eaten carcasses have layers of dust on what were once magnificent manes.


I am sure that the last time I was here that part of the interior was under renovation – this is borne out by the restoration notice in the Monkey Room that shows that it was completed in 2007.



The gardens are in magnificent condition, with a film crew working in the midday heat. The poor cameraman has forgotten his sunscreen, and judging by the bright red colour of his arms, will regret it tomorrow.

It’s a 2km walk back to the station, again through shaded woods. There is a local bus (and apparently a tourist shuttle), but the walk back past the Hippodrome passes close enough to the racecourse that it is evident that there is a local race meeting on a Monday afternoon.

(17.06km, 23889 steps according to my Fitbit Flex)

This entry was posted in Arctic 2013, Europe, France, Paris and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Peter July 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Great blog. Following you with interest, especially looking forward to my time in Paris in early September. Look after yourself..