A private tour of the chateau in Chantilly is a short-cut to understanding the power and magnificence of the nobility in France. It can be argued with some success that the power of its creator, the Constable Anne in the 16th century, was equal to that of the crown. It was also Louis Bourbon, the Prince of Condé, renowned as the Grand Condé, who threatened to supplant Louis XIV, which resulted in his banishment from the court in 1650. Even his act of atonement, a gift to the king of Michelangelo’s twin sculptures, The Slaves, was not enough to redeem him. None of the previous royal palaces held a candle to the elegance of Chantilly.
Our tour will take you to see the impressive library which houses about 20,000 volumes, including medieval manuscripts, surrounded by banners of all of the comrades in arms of the monarchs of France. We will then proceed through the Apartments of the Princes, which includes a notable Salon de Singes and an impressive Hall of Battles. The park, partly designed by André Le Nôtre, is also home to an English garden and a rustic village. If that reminds you of Marie Antoinette’s domain in Versailles, you are not wrong: she was inspired by the park in Chantilly, which is among the most important in all of France.
This Paris Luxury Tour brings you to the domain of France’s illustrious Montmorency and Condé families, and to a museum of world class stature. It is the personal collection of the last owner of Chantilly, the Duke of Aumale, before he bequested in 1886 the chateau and its contents to the French Academy of the Arts and Sciences, aka the Institut de France. It contains paintings and drawings of Giotto, Fillippino Lippi, several Raphaels, Botticelli, Watteau, Ingres, and Delacroix, among others.
Chantilly, furthermore, is where 3000 thoroughbred horses routinely train for racing, including the Prix de Diane, a very prestigious world class equine event. Believing that he would be reincarnated as a horse, one of the 18th century Condé decided to arrange for a comfortable re-birth by commissioning architect Jean Aubert to design and build a superb stable. The result was the magnificent 18th century stable that is today the seat of one of the most important horse riding schools in France, which you can also visit. You may wish to catch the afternoon performance of their dressage.
This private tour of the Chateau de Chantilly is usually proposed in tandem with visits to the nearby ancient royal city of Senlis or the imperial palace at Compiègne, to make a complete day of touring in the region. For details of those visits, please consult our Senlis tour and Compiègne tour pages in the private day tours from Paris section of this website.