The Château de Chantilly is located north of Paris - about half an hour by train. The oldest parts of the castle date from the 16th century, but having suffered seriously from the Revolution, the major parts were rebuilt during the 19th century. Its history is linked to the Montmorency family, later to the Princes of Condé…  and during the latter part of the 19th century to one of the sons of King Louis-Philippe, the Duke of Aumale. The castle was bequeathed to the French State ((Institut de France) at his death in 1897.

Molière sits in front of the castle on the top picture. This is because his play “Les Précieuses Ridicules” was performed here for the first time in 1659. The man on the horse is Anne, Duke of Montmorency. 

Another name linked to the castle is François Vatel. He was “maître d’hôtel” to the Condé family but had also worked for Nicolas Fouquet and others. He committed suicide because of a delayed delivery of some fish for a royal meal at the castle. The famous Chantilly cream seems however not to be linked to him – created earlier. 
The art gallery, referred to as the “Musée Condé”, houses one of the finest collections of paitings in France – Botticelli, Raphael, Mignard, Watteau, Corot, Fra Angelico, Lippi, Veronese, Carracci, Poussin, Holbein, Champaigne, Van Dyck, Greuze, Delacroix, Ingres, Gericault… .

The library contains some 1.500 manuscripts, some 17.500 printed volumes, medieval manuscripts…

Other parts of the castle, the Chapel...

The Garden was laid out by André Le Nôtre (Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, Tuileries…).

The castle is close to the Chantilly Racecourse and the Great Stables (to be visited another time).

The days in November are short… the darkness arrived.  



French Girl in Seattle said...

Lovely photos. They take me many years back! I like an elegant and grandiose decor where I am greeted by Molière; food is served by Monsieur Vatel (interpreted once by Gérard Depardieu;) and desserts are smothered in crème Chantilly. I need to return soon. Merci, Peter. -- Véronique

Creamcheese said...

Beautiful photos, on,I'm sure, a very chilly November day, Peter. Chantilly will definitely be on my list of places to go on my next visit to Paris. Vatel was a favourite film of mine. To commit suicide over a late delivery of seafood shows how passionate one can be for the love of their craft.

Anonymous said...

As usual, I'm absolutely under the spell of your fantastic photos. Thank you so much for leading us through that "maravilla".

The Château de Chantilly! There's where that unfortunate scion of the House of Condé, the Duke of Enghien, was born?

And what a shame Monsieur Vatel took that determination! All that because of that rascally despot of Louis XIV was coming for dinner? I just can't forget how many lives were sacrificed in building his Versailles, out of a miserable swamp, and him not caring at all about what was happening under his own eyes...............

The Emperor of Russia, traveling incognito through the rest of Europe, had the opportunity of watching Louis XIV's behaviour around his subjects. He was revolted by it. He was not revolted, however, by what he saw at an embassy, where he was hired as a gardener :o
The fact that a man, who was almost two meters tall could get away with traveling "incognito" speaks volumes about the personality of Peter the Great.

What Monsieur Vatel should have done was run away, as fast as he could, and if possible with that King's very own and ravishing Athenais de Rochechouart. And I'm not putting the two dots on the letter i on her first name. It's a Greco- Roman name, not French.

Thanks again,

taalfaro said...

Thank you for all the photos. I was in Paris just this August and this was on the list but just too much to do in a short period of time. Perhaps someday.