22-25 July 2010
- 22-25 July 2010
The Chateau d'Chantilly-not just a castle!
Release date: 01/01/1970
Here is are a few facts about the Chateau at Chantilly, once of the most beautiful in the world.
The first building on the site now occupied by the Chateau de Chantilly was built in the 15th century but destroyed in the French revolution. In 1632 after the death of Henry II it was passed on to Louis de Bourbon, le Grande Conde. It remained in the family for many years. It was Louis who added the Grand Ecurie, in the belief that he might one day be reincarnated as a horse!
The original mansion was destroyed in the French Revolution. It was repaired in a modest way by the last Condé, but the entire property was confiscated from the Orléans family between the years 1853-1872, during which interval it was owned by Coutts, an English bank. Chantilly was entirely rebuilt in 1875–1881 by Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale (1822–1897) to the designs of Honore Daumet. He was a great collector of art and antiquities and much of the rebuild was to house the spectacular collection second only the the one in the Louvre in Paris as far as the French are concerned. These rooms remain today in their original state with the art displayed exactly as the Duc d'Aumale left it. The collection, known as the Musee Conde, contains great masterpieces such as Raphaels Three Graces and Poussin's Les Massacre des Innocents and is absolutely priceless.
The Chateau, Gardens and the Grand Ecurie (stables) are all being restored to their former glory thanks to the Institute de France, the World Monument Fund and a donation of almost half the required funds (Euro 70m) from His Royal Highness the Aga Khan. The Aga Khan is also a great horse lover with training stables in the area and whose green, red epaulets colours have been carried to glory in many of Europe's great horse races including the French Derby and Oaks, held on the Chantilly racecourse. The Chateau has also featured in the Bond movie A View to a Kill, hosted rock concerts and celebrity marriages and every two years is the host for a firework competition for the best displays.