Horseraces originally started to be held at the Champ de Mars
from 1833, but then in 1857 the new racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne area of Paris just
a few minutes from the Eiffel Tower was opened and
then called the Longchamp racecourse.
It was on the last Sunday in April 1857 that the first ever race was held at Longchamp and
all of the important people and royalty were there including Prince Jerome Bonaparte and
his son Prince Napoleon.
There were five races held in total, and the very first ever horse to cross the finishing
line was called Eclaireur and in second place was Miss Gladiator. In fact, it was
Miss Gladiator that became one of the most famous brood mares in French racing history
after producing the celebrated Gladiateur that won the English Derby and went on to be
presented at Longchamp in 1865 at the Grand Prix de Paris.
You will be able to see the bronze statue of the horse at the main entrance to this track
along with another famous feature called the windmill, which was once part of a monastery,
with the first stone being laid in 1256. The windmill was demolished with the rest
of the abbey during the French revolution, but was rebuilt on the same foundations when
the course was first built and is located opposite the Suresnes pond.
This premier racecourse that is located between the River Seine
and the Bois de Boulogne includes seventeen hectares of tracks and has become one of the
top horse racetracks in the world, specialising in flat races where some of the best
thoroughbreds in the world run.
The Hippodrome de Longchamp plays host to the prestigious Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe every
October and this special weekend of racing has global renown, attracting over 70,000
people in person yet is also televised and watched by hundreds of millions.
As well as the prestigious races and Group 1 events, this racecourse also runs the Dimanches au Galop, which are the Sunday races designed
with the whole family in mind and are completely free to enter.
The Longchamp racecourse venue spans over 55 hectares and is a favourite for many
Parisians when it comes to a day out of leisure and relaxation, but because this horserace
venue is so internationally well known, it is also visited by many tourists and there can
be as many as forty percent of people visiting this famous racecourse from other
countries, especially for special events like the prestigious Qatar Prix de l'Arc de
And even though you can bring your own picnic, which is even recommended on the Sunday
Galop family days, you can also choose to have lunch at the restaurant with panoramic
views of the race courses along with gourmet menus including a children's menu, but there
are also other options for food, such as a tearoom as well.
So if you are on holiday in France, then going to
the races can be a completely different type of day out, yet for an totally unforgettable
experience, going to the Longchamp racecourse will provide you with thrill, excitement and
relaxation. And getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life in Paris, you never know, you may end up coming out with
more money than you went there with!
Address & Contact Details
Hippodrome de Longchamp
Route des Tribunes
Bois de Boulogne
Telephone: 1 44 30 75 00
Information on the Dimanches au Galop
8 21 21 32 13 (12 cents per minute from a landline)