Travelling through Chantilly and its area also means travelling through the French history. The story of Chantilly begins well before the Grand Condé’s era, but he was the one who brought fame to Chantilly in the seventeenth century. Louis XIV’s cousin hired the most famous gardener of the time – Le Nôtre – as well as the great architect Hardouin Mansart so as to make of Chantilly one of the most prestigious residences in the nearby of Paris, not far away from Versailles and the Court. Chantilly was a luxurious place where the King would be invited, but also a place for tragedy where the famous cook Vatel committed suicide.
The castle of Chantilly has gone through darker times during the French revolution when it was looted and partly demolished. In 1876 the Duc d’Aumale, heir of the Condé family rehabilitated the castle and created the Musée Condé (Condé Museum) that he later gave to the Institut de France.
The link between Chantilly and the horses goes back to the 18th century. In 1719, Louis Henri de Bourbon ordered the construction of stables in Chantilly. Fox hunting was and still is a big activity in the area, forests being large and full of preys.
Since 1982 the Grandes Ecuries (the Grand Stables) have been housing the Musée Vivant du Cheval (Living Horse Museum).
Chantilly also means racecourse such as the “Prix du Jockey Club” or the “Prix de Diane”.
The area of Chantilly welcomes both professionals and well advised amateurs of horses.