From the moment that you see Domain Chateau de Chantilly France with its reflection on the water, you are automatically captured by its beauty. Set amongst 115 hectares of gardens the stunning Chateau de Chantilly is only a 25 mins train ride from central Paris making it perfect for a day out.
The history of Domain Chateau de Chantilly
The Chateau de Chantilly comprises two buildings, the Petit Chateau and the Grand Chateau, which were originally destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt in the 1870s. Apart from this it has survived through the centuries and remains as it was when the Duke of Aumale left it to the Institut de France in 1886 (who still own it today), making it a great place to take a journey back in time.
The beauty does not stop at the outside, the interior is well preserved and because of the Duke of Aumale’s devotion to collecting fine art and books, the exhibits of paintings, antiques, porcelain, miniatures, weapons and furniture are fantastic. The galleries are considered to be one of the finest in France and are open to the public.
Not to mention, The Reading Room (library) and Private bedrooms also stand-out. You could lose yourself here for hours, especially if you enjoy art and antiques.
Main things to see in Chateau de Chantilly
The Duke of Aumale had two great passions in his life, fine art and books and he devoted his entire life to both of them. This is very visible when exploring the Chateau de Chantilly, especially when in Musée Condé the private art gallery.
The Musée Condé houses the second largest collection of antique paintings in France after the Louvre museum.
There are various rooms that display the fine art like the Stag Gallery or Psyche Gallery but many of the works are displayed in the Tribune Room. And in keeping with the Duke of Aumale’s wishes the layout of the paintings has remained unchanged since the 19th century.
If there is one room in a place I always love to visit it is a library, there is just something about them that always lures me in and fascinates me. The Reading Room in Chateau de Chantilly is no exception and The Duke of Aumale was definitely a man after my own heart.
As soon as you walk into the room you notice straight away the two level metal structure and stunning ceiling painted in gold trimming. There are colourful books that line the shelves on both levels of the library and in the centre of the room is a glass cabinet display, showing some of the rare pieces owned by the Chateau de Chantilly.
The Duke of Aumale was a very wealthy man and was able to acquire a large number of books from all over Europe, from booksellers and at auctions. Over time he put together a rare collection of precious books and manuscripts that accumulated to around 60,000 volumes.
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There are 19,000 volumes of these books and manuscripts exhibited in the Reading Room, including 1,500 manuscripts and 17,500 printed documents. The oldest manuscripts in the Reading room dating back from the 11th century.
How to get there & Location
Located in the town of Chantilly, Chateau de Chantilly is only 40 klms away from central Paris, making it very accessible for a day trip.
There are direct trains from Gare du Nord SNCF to Chateau de Chantilly but you will need to get off at Chantilly Gouvieax, which is the local station. The train journey should roughly take 25mins and cost around €16 return.
You can check the pricing and timetable on the train website here Tickets & Times
From the station, you can either walk to Chateau de Chantilly (about 20mins) or catch the free shuttle. Please note though that the Free Shuttle is only available from July 2 to October 2, 2016, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
If you are driving, there is car-parking available and I understand that it is about €4
Tips for visiting Chantilly
- Chantilly is a really pretty town, I would suggest taking the free shuttle to Chateau de Chantilly and then walk back to the station admiring the town and explore the many little cute shops.
- You can skip the line and buy your tickets online which is valid for up to a year from the date of purchase. Online Tickets
- Do not take an organised day tour here if you are a confident traveller, as it is super easy to get to and look around yourself. Not to mention it is also a lot cheaper doing it on your own.
- For an additional €3, you can do the Private bedroom tour, which is worth it if you have the time.
- Price: – 17 Euro’s per adult for entrance to the chateau and gardens (NOT including the private rooms)
- Type: – Full Day
- Duration: – 2-3 Hrs depending on what you see
Thank you for reading my article ‘Domain De Chantilly Chateau France’, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for a day out in from Paris. This is such an interesting place to visit especially if you love history and art.
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Thank you for reading this article ‘Chateau de Chantilly France’, I hope it helped you in deciding to take a visit out there. Domain Chateau de Chantilly France truly is a beautiful place to explore, especially for a weekend.
Have you been to Chateau de Chantilly France before? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see in the area?
Disclaimer: I paid to go to Chateau de Chantilly, France. All views are my own and based on my own experience.