The Chateau de Chantilly is not as well known as some chateaux
and yet is a remarkable place that many feel is actually better than the Chateau de
Versailles and being under an hour from Paris, it is
well worth a visit if you get the chance, especially considering you can not only take in
the grounds, but experience the Conde Museum
with its vast art collection, that is second only to The
Louvre in Paris.
Andre Le Notre designed The Jardin Francais for the Grand Condé at the end of the 17th
century. Andre also designed lots of other grounds including those at the Chateau de Versailles, but this is the only garden
that he created where the axis does not pass through the chateau. Instead the
centrepiece is a statue of Le Connétable, Anne de Montmorency.
The Chateau de Chantilly has the largest
expanse of water with the Grand Canal being approximately 2.5 kilometres and is much
larger than the canal at the Chateau de Versailles that Andre Le Notre designed, and on
the borders at one side of this canal, you can see some remarkable water mirrors that
reflect the sky and water jets.
The Jardin Anglais is situated between the Chateau de Chantilly and the Grands Ecuries,
which is home to La Musée Vivant du Cheval,
which is also known as the Living Horse Museum.
The Jardin Anglais was designed for Prince Louis Joseph de Condé in 1819 by the architect
Victor Dubois on the site of one of the original gardens by Andre Le Notre that was
destroyed during the French Revolution.
And yet a large fountain designed by Andre still remains, but you can also see swans and
other birds that nest in the islands here. Also situated at the heart of the Jardin
Anglais you will find a piece of lawn bordered by fountains and trees that was used for
parties, and this leads into a gazebo that contains a statue of Eros.
The Temple de Vénus is a folly built that was originally built in the early 19th century
and has since been completely restored. Designed by the architect Victor Dubois in
the middle of the Jardin Anglais it stands next to a romantic pond and at its centre there
is a famous antique statue, which represents Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty.
Le Hameau comprises five hamlets with modest exteriors, but beautiful and interesting
interiors and was built for Prince Louis Joseph de Bourbon Condé. In fact, it was
this that inspired Queen Marie Antoinette to have built the Le Hameau in the Trianon at
the Chateau de Versailles and here you find a place of calm within the grounds of
Jeu de Paume
Prince Louis Joseph de Bourbon Condé was a keen player of Jeu de Paume or real tennis and
when construction began in 1756 it was one of the last Jeu de Paume's to be built in
It was constructed in stone with a slate roof and had a balcony in forged iron, with the
interior being split in two parts, the tennis room and changing rooms where players could
rest as well as change. However the Duc d'Aumale transformed the room into a museum
room where he installed large paintings that could not be displayed elsewhere due to their
size and some of these remain in the same place today.
The Chateau d'Enghien stands next to the forest on the Chantilly estate and is a long
building that was constructed in 1769 for the guests of the Prince de Condé. When
you look back at the History of Chantilly,
you will find that numerous parties were held here and this was built as the Chateau de
Chantilly was not large enough to put up all the guests.
In honour of the last descendent of the Bourbon Condé family, who was born in Chantilly
in 1772, it is now called the Chateau d'Enghien and now houses the apartments of the
members of the Institut de France who look after Chantilly's interests.
The grounds of the Chateau de Chantilly are open every day of the week except for a
From April through to the end of October they open at 10am and close at 8pm, then from
November through to the end of March they open from 10.30am to 6pm.
However, please bear in mind that the ticket booths close at least one hour prior and in
some cases two hours prior to the grounds closing.
Address & Contact Details:
Chateau de Chantilly
Telephone: 3 44 27 31 80
For Group Information and Reservations Telephone: 3 44 27 31 80