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Hippodrome de Longchamp Racecourse

Even though there are around 250 racecourses in France, it is the Paris area in the Ile de France region that is home to some of the most prestigious racecourses, but for the horseracing enthusiasts you can guarantee there are always races taking place at one of the venues around France virtually every day of the year.

But the Longchamp racecourse, with its official name being the Hippodrome de Longchamp, has tremendous prestige and is one of the most famous horseracing venues throughout the whole of France.

Longchamp Races

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Hippodrome de Longchamp Racecourse

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 Triomphe.

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)

Longchamp Racecourse

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