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Chateau de Chantilly visitor guide

Photo of Chateau de Chantilly

Visit Chateau de Chantilly, France

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The castle at Chantilly is 40 kilometres north of Paris, and a popular day trip from the capital as well as with visitors to the Picardy region.

Explore the Chateau de Chantilly

France This Way comment: the chateau de Chantilly is a very impressive site, especially when seen reflected in the substantial moat that surrounds it, and if you are exploring Picardy you will want to visit...

Outside view of the Chateau de Chantilly

There are two distinct parts to the Chateau de Chantilly:

- the original 16th century part built for the Montmorency family and called the Petit Château

- the 19th century addition called the Château Neuf, built on the site of a part of the original castle that had been destroyed and inspired by the original structure

The castle is entered by passing through a broad 'wall' of stone arches into a courtyard area which then leads to the main buildings of the Chateau and a second courtyard.

In the Petit Chateau you can mostly see the living accommodation as it was in the 18th and 19th centuries and in the Chateau Neuf you can see a very beautiful library, the art galleries and a chapel. The salons and apartments in the main castle are beautifully furnished with chairs, tapestries and candelabras from the 18th century.

The chapel at the Chateuu de Chantilly is highlight, with its beautifully painted ceiling and chapels and the large stained glass windows allowing lots of light to enter.

Anther part of the castle at Chantilly that you will see as part of your visit is the stable block. Built in the 18th century and 180 metres long, this is another impressive sight and contains an important museum dedicated to horse racing in France

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The gardens that surround Chantilly Castle are meticulously maintained and recognised to be an important French style garden, and are a lovely place to explore and enjoy. The formal gardens still retain the plan that was as designed by André Le Nôtre, the famous 17th century landscape designer also responsible for the gardens at Versailles, among others.

The most unusual feature of the gardens is the large amount of water features: instead of a moat the castle has lakes to the front and the rear and the gardens themselves also incorporate large pond areas in the English style garden. Another highlight in the gardens is the small hamlet of thatched cottages built in the 18th century as a 'garden feature' as part of the English-Chinese garden.

Allow plenty of time to explore the gardens and park: they are very extensive (115 hectares), there are lovely views from many different places and you can also discover the flora and fauna of the park as part of your visit.

The art gallery at the chateau (Musée Condé) contains an extraordinarily wide selection of important historic paintings and is best known for its extensive collection of paintings by well known artists of the 16th-19th centuries such as Delacroix and Corot.

The collections in the museum were bequeathed to the state by the 19th century owner of the chateau de Chantilly, Henri d'Orléans, the Duke of Aumale (who was also responsible for the rebuilding of the Chateau Neuf)

More recently, Chateau Chantilly featured in the James Bond film 'A View to a Kill'

Outside view of the Chateau de Chantilly

Attractions nearby

Although the castle is the main place of interest, you should also explore Chantilly town while you are here.

See more castles in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Oise guide and the Picardy guide.

See also: 

Photos of Chateau de Chantilly

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • exterior-2
  • exterior-3
  • exterior
  • riverside-view
  • stables

Map of Chateau de Chantilly and places nearby

 
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Visit near Chateau de Chantilly with France This Way reviews

Chantilly

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The town of Chantilly in the Oise department of Picardy is best known for the Chateau de Chantilly, horses and whipped cream!

Chantilly guide
Senlis

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The ruined castle, the cathedral and the narrow cobbled streets make Senlis a very pleasant town to visit

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Ermenonville

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The Mer de Sable theme park is the main reason visitors come to Ermenonville, but find time to also see the Chateau d'Ermenonvile and visit the Park Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Ermenonville guide
Basilica of Saint-Denis

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In the Basilica of Saint-Denis, where many of the French kings are buried, you can admire one of the very first gothic style cathedrals to be built

Basilica of Saint-Denis guide
Morienval abbey

Morienval abbey

The Abbey of Notre-Dame at Morienval is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture

Morienval abbey guide
Compiegne

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In Compiegne you can visit the palace, several museums, and other interesting historic monuments and memorials

Compiegne guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Oise

The French version of this page is at Chateau de Chantilly (Francais)

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