The last weekend in November, we headed over to visit a new château, Château de Chantilly. It’s located about an hour from Paris and is reportedly where creme chantilly was first invented in the 18th century.
Another thing that the chateau is famous for, is it’s stables and horses. The chateau claims that these are the largest stables in Europe. There are many shows and demonstrations put on here, but unfortunately everything was sold out during our visit. We were told that shows often sell out and that it’s best to buy tickets ahead of time. Oh well. We still enjoyed seeing all of the horses and visiting the on site museum.
We met up with some friends at lunch and then headed over to see the actual chateau itself.
Chantilly was first built around 1560 for the Montmorency family. This chateau was destroyed though in the French Revolution. It was entirely rebuilt in 1875-82 by the Duke of Aumale.
The Duke was considered the greatest collector of his time. He acquired many precious books and paintings and planned on keeping them in Chantilly. Since he had no living descendants, the duke bequeathed Chantilly to the Institut de France on the condition that it be open to the public.
The chateau is layed out exactly as it was in the 19th century and we enjoyed walking throughout and seeing all of the different collections (including a painting by Raphael).
After our tour of the chateau, we headed up to the restaurant to try some of the famous creme chantilly. It was delicious, but unfortunately our littlest was feeling pretty sick at that time (later we found out she had an ear infection-poor thing! 😦 ), so Aaron and I took turns visiting with friends and rocking our baby girl to sleep.
When we were done with our treat, we headed out and just quickly glanced back at the gardens. They looked beautiful, but with Adeline not feeling well and with it being so cold, we thought it would be better to head home.
It was a beautiful chateau though and in a weird way reminded us of Hearst Castle in CA (Maybe because they were both owned by collectors?). We loved looking through the Duke’s collections and next time I would love to take a walk through the gardens.