Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chateau de Chantilly

John and I caught a train from Gare du Nord to visit the Chateau de Chantilly last Thursday.
On arrival at the sleepy town of Chantilly, after a half-hour trip from Paris, we walked through a quiet woods
past the racetrack and its spectator pavilion.  Horse breeding and racing is the other thing for which the little town is famous.
A 20 minute stroll brought us to the moat
and the gates of the chateau,
and the bridge over the moat with its sculpture of hunting dogs.
The main building was destroyed in the French Revolution. The flamboyant building that we see today was rebuilt in the Romantic 1870's. The more restrained Petit Chateau was built in 1560 and houses the private apartments.
Steps lead down to grand formal 18th century gardens
designed by André Le Nôtre who also designed the gardens of Versailles.
The views of the Chateau are stunning from the gardens as well.
It's easy to imagine the pre-Revolutionary nobility promenading and posing in this setting.

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