Château de Chantilly
The Château de Chantilly (ʃɑ.to də ʃɑ̃.ti.ji) is a historic château
A château is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions...

 located in the town of Chantilly
Chantilly, Oise
Chantilly is a small city in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune in the department of Oise.It is in the metropolitan area of Paris 38.4 km...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. It comprises two attached buildings; the Grand Château, destroyed during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and rebuilt in the 1870s, and the Petit Château which was built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency
Anne de Montmorency
Anne de Montmorency, duc de Montmorency, Honorary Knight of the Garter was a French soldier, statesman and diplomat. He became Marshal of France and Constable of France.-Early life:...

. Owned by the Institut de France
Institut de France
The Institut de France is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is the Académie française.The institute, located in Paris, manages approximately 1,000 foundations, as well as museums and chateaux open for visit. It also awards prizes and subsidies, which...

, the château houses the Musée Condé, which is one of the finest art galleries in France and is open to the public.


The estate's connection with the Montmorency family
Montmorency family
Montmorency, pronounced , the name of one of the oldest and most distinguished families in France, derived from the city of Montmorency, now in the Val-d'Oise département, in the immediate neighborhood of Enghien-les-Bains and Saint-Denis, about 9 miles northwest of Paris.The family, since its...

 began in 1484. The first mansion (no longer extant, now replaced by the Grand Château) was built in 1528–1531 for the Constable Anne de Montmorency by Pierre Chambiges
Pierre Chambiges
Pierre Chambiges, , was a French master mason and architect to François I of France and his son Henri II....

. The Petit Château was also built for him, around 1560, probably by Jean Bullant
Jean Bullant
Jean Bullant was a French architect and sculptor who built the tombs of Anne de Montmorency, Grand Connétable of France, Henri II, and Catherine de' Medici. He also worked on the Tuileries, the Louvre, and the Château d'Écouen...

. In 1632, after the death of Henri II
Henri II de Montmorency
Henri II de Montmorency was a French nobleman and military commander.Born at Chantilly, Oise, he was the son of duke Henry I, whom he succeeded in 1614, having previously been made grand admiral...

, it passed to the Grand Condé
Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé
Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé was a French general and the most famous representative of the Condé branch of the House of Bourbon. Prior to his father's death in 1646, he was styled the Duc d'Enghien...

 who inherited it through his mother, a Montmorency.

Several interesting pieces of history are associated with the château during the 17th century. Molière
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature...

's play, Les Précieuses ridicules
Les Précieuses ridicules
Les Précieuses ridicules is a one-act satire by Molière in prose. It takes aim at the précieuses, the ultra-witty ladies who indulged in lively conversations, word games and, in a word, préciosité ....

, received its first performance here in 1659. Madame de Sévigné relates in her memoirs that when Louis XIV visited in 1671, François Vatel
François Vatel
François Vatel was the maître d'hôtel of Nicolas Fouquet and prince Louis II de Bourbon-Condé.He is widely, but incorrectly, credited with creating crème Chantilly , a sweet, vanilla-flavoured whipped cream, for an extravagant banquet for 2,000 people hosted in honour of Louis XIV by Louis, the...

, the maître d'hôtel to the Grand Condé, committed suicide when he feared the fish would be served late.

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
Duc d'Orléans
Duke of Orléans was one of the highest ranking titles of the French peerage and dates back to the 14th century. Known as princes of the blood , the title of Duke of Orléans was exclusive to princes of the nearest collateral line of the royal family; thus they constituted a junior branch of the...

 family between the years 1853 and 1872, during which interval it was owned by Coutts
Coutts & Co. is one of the UK's private banking houses, now wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland . RBS acquired Coutts and all of its overseas subsidiaries when it bought NatWest. On 1 January 2008, Coutts' international businesses were renamed RBS Coutts, aligning them more closely with...

, an English bank. Chantilly was entirely rebuilt in 1875–1881 by Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale
Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale
-Bibliophile:He was a noted collector of old manuscripts and books. His library remains at Chantilly.-Death:By his will of the June 3, 1884, however, he had bequeathed to the Institute of France his Chantilly estate, including the Château de Chantilly, with all the art-collection he had collected...

 (1822–1897) to the designs of Honore Daumet
Honoré Daumet
Pierre Jérôme Honoré Daumet was a French architect.Daumet was the winner of the Prix de Rome in 1855, and in 1861 conducted a treasure-hunting expedition to Macedonia at the request of Napoleon III, accompanying the archaeologist Léon Heuzey...

. The new château met with mixed reviews. Boni de Castellane summed up one line of thought: "What is today styled a marvel is one of the saddest specimens of the architecture of our era — one enters at the second floor and descends to the salons". In the end, the Duc d'Aumale bequeathed the property to the Institut de France upon his death in 1897.

Musée Condé

The château's art gallery, the Musée Condé, houses one of the finest collections of paintings in France (after the Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

), with special strength in French paintings and book illuminations of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Works in the art gallery (many of them are in the Tribune Room) include Sassetta's Mystic Marriage of St. Francis, Botticelli's Autumn, Piero di Cosimo
Piero di Cosimo
Piero di Cosimo , also known as Piero di Lorenzo, was an Italian Renaissance painter.-Biography:The son of a goldsmith, Piero was born in Florence and apprenticed under the artist Cosimo Rosseli, from whom he derived his popular name and whom he assisted in the painting of the Sistine Chapel in...

's Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci, Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

's Three Graces
Three Graces (Raphael)
The Three Graces is an oil painting by Italian painter Raphael, housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. The date of origin has not been positively determined, though it seems to have been painted at some point after his arrival to study with Pietro Perugino in about 1500, possibly 1503-1505...

and Madonna of Loreto
Madonna of Loreto (Raphael)
The Madonna of Loreto is a painting finished around 1508-1509 by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. It is housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France....

, Guercino's Pietà, Pierre Mignard
Pierre Mignard
Pierre Mignard , called "Le Romain" to distinguish him from his brother Nicolas Mignard, was a French painter...

's Portrait of Molière as well as four of Antoine Watteau
Antoine Watteau
Jean-Antoine Watteau was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement...

's paintings and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was a French landscape painter and printmaker in etching. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century...

's Le concert champêtre
Le concert champêtre
Le Concert Champêtre is a 1857 painting by French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, currently housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. A reworking of a composition exhibited by Corot in the Salon of 1844, the painting was shown in the Salon of 1857.The painting depicts three women, one...

. Other paintings in the collection include works by Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico , born Guido di Pietro, was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent"...

, Filippino Lippi
Filippino Lippi
Filippino Lippi was an Italian painter working during the High Renaissance in Florence, Italy.-Biography:...

, Hans Memling
Hans Memling
Hans Memling was a German-born Early Netherlandish painter.-Life and works:Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region, it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden...

, 260 paintings and drawings by François
François Clouet
François Clouet , son of Jean Clouet, was a French Renaissance miniaturist and painter, particularly known for his detailed portraits of the French ruling family.-Historical references:Clouet was born in Tours....

 and Jean Clouet
Jean Clouet
Jean Clouet was a miniaturist and painter who worked in France during the Renaissance. He was the father of François Clouet.-Biography:Clouet was allegedly born in Brussels....

, Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

, Barocci, Annibale Carracci
Annibale Carracci
Annibale Carracci was an Italian Baroque painter.-Early career:Annibale Carracci was born in Bologna, and in all likelihood first apprenticed within his family...

, Domenichino, Salvator Rosa
Salvator Rosa
Salvator Rosa was an Italian Baroque painter, poet and printmaker, active in Naples, Rome and Florence. As a painter, he is best known as an "unorthodox and extravagant" and a "perpetual rebel" proto-Romantic.-Early life:...

, Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century...

, Philippe de Champaigne
Philippe de Champaigne
Philippe de Champaigne was a Flemish-born French Baroque era painter, a major exponent of the French school.-Early life:Born in Brussels of a poor family, Champaigne was a pupil of the landscape painter Jacques Fouquières...

, Van Dyck, Guido Reni
Guido Reni
Guido Reni was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style.-Biography:Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Guido Reni was the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra de’ Pozzi. As a child of nine, he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. Soon after, he was joined in that...

, Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Jean-Baptiste Greuze was a French painter.-Early life:He was born at Tournus, Saône-et-Loire. He is generally said to have formed his own talent; this is, however, true only in the most limited sense, for at an early age his inclinations, though thwarted by his father, were encouraged by a...

, Joshua Reynolds
Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy...

, Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school...

, Ingres
Ingres Database is a commercially supported, open-source SQL relational database management system intended to support large commercial and government applications...

, Géricault.

The library of the Petit Château contains over 1300 manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s and 12,500 printed volumes, including a Gutenberg Bible
Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with a movable type printing press, and marked the start of the "Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of the printed book. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities, the book has an iconic status...

 that is part of the collection of over 700 incunabula), and some 200 medieval manuscripts, including one page of the Registrum Gregorii
Registrum Gregorii
The Registrum Gregorii is a collection of letters by pope Gregory the Great. It was commissioned by Egbert of Trier from the anonymous Italian artist known as the "master of the Registrum Gregorii" , probably after the death of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor in 983...

(c. 983), the Les très riches heures
Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry or simply the Très Riches Heures is a richly decorated book of hours commissioned by John, Duke of Berry, around 1410...

 du Duc de Berry, the Ingeborg Psalter
Ingeborg Psalter
The Ingeborg Psalter is a late 12th century illuminated Psalter now housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France.It was created about 1195 in northern France for Ingeborg of Denmark, wife of King Philip II of France...

 and 40 miniatures from Jean Fouquet
Jean Fouquet
Jean Fouquet was a preeminent French painter of the 15th century, a master of both panel painting and manuscript illumination, and the apparent inventor of the portrait miniature. He was the first French artist to travel to Italy and experience at first hand the Italian Early...

's Book of Hours of Etienne Chevalier.

Park and Chantilly racecourse

The park, featuring extensive parterres and water features, was laid out principally by André Le Nôtre
André Le Nôtre
André Le Nôtre was a French landscape architect and the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France...

 for the Grand Condé. It also contains a French landscape garden
French landscape garden
The French landscape garden is a style of garden inspired by idealized Italian landscapes and the romantic paintings of Hubert Robert, Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin, European ideas about Chinese gardens, and the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau...

 with a cascade, pavilions, and a rustic ersatz village, the Hameau de Chantilly
Hameau de Chantilly
The Hameau de Chantilly is a folly in the park of the Château de Chantilly built in 1774 and consisting of seven rustic thatched cottages with luxurious interiors set in a garden....

, which inspired the Hameau de la reine of Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette ; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was an Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France and of Navarre. She was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I....

 in the Gardens of Versailles
Gardens of Versailles
The Gardens of Versailles occupy part of what was once the Domaine royal de Versailles, the royal demesne of the château of Versailles. Situated to the west of the palace, the gardens cover some 800 hectares of land, much of which is landscaped in the classic French Garden style perfected here by...


The estate overlooks the Chantilly Racecourse
Chantilly Racecourse
Chantilly Racecourse is a Thoroughbred turf racecourse for flat racing in Chantilly, Oise, France, about north of the centre of the city of Paris....

 and the Grandes Écuries (Great Stables) which contains the Living Museum of the Horse
Living Museum of the Horse
The Living Museum of the Horse is a museum in Chantilly, France dedicated to equine art and culture. It is housed in the Great Stables of the Château de Chantilly, about 40 km north of Paris.-History:...

. According to legend, Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon
Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon
Louis Henri de Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon, Prince of Condé was head of the cadet Bourbon-Condé branch of the French royal House of Bourbon from 1710 to his death, and served as prime minister to his kinsman Louis XV from 1723 to 1726.Despite...

, Prince of Condé
Prince of Condé
The Most Serene House of Condé is a historical French house, a noble lineage of descent from a single ancestor...

 believed that he would be reincarnated as a horse after his death. In 1719, he asked the architect, Jean Aubert
Jean Aubert the Elder
Jean Aubert the Elder, was a French architect, "responsible for many fine interiors but not a leader of the first rank."...

 to build stables suitable to his rank. These 186m long stables are considered by some as the most beautiful in the world.


The World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training....

 included the site in the 1998 World Monuments Watch to call attention to water infiltration and high humidity in the Galerie des Actions de Monsieur le Prince, and again in the 2002 World Monuments Watch due to the precarious condition of the entire estate. Funding for restoration work was provided from various sources, including American Express
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

 and the Generali Group
Assicurazioni Generali
Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. is the largest insurance company in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. It has its headquarters in Trieste...

. Subsequently, in response to an appeal for the restoration of the château, The Aga Khan
Aga Khan IV
Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV, NPk, NI, KBE, CC, GCC, GCIH, GCM is the 49th and current Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims. He has held this position under the title of Aga Khan since July 11, 1957, when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan...

 donated €40m, accounting for more than half of a €70m needed by the Institut de France to complete the project. In 2008 the World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training....

 completed the restoration of the Grande Singerie, a salon with paintings on the walls of monkeys engaged in human activities
Singerie is the French word for "Monkey Trick". It is a genre depicting monkeys apeing human behavior, often fashionably attired, intended as a diverting sight, always with a gentle cast of mild satire...

, once a fashionable salon motif, but with few examples surviving today.

Modern uses

  • The château and the Great Stables were featured in the 1985 James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     movie A View to a Kill
    A View to a Kill
    A View to a Kill is the fourteenth spy film of the James Bond series, and the seventh and last to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Although the title is adapted from Ian Fleming's short story "From a View to a Kill", the film is the fourth Bond film after The Spy Who Loved...

    , as the home of villainous Max Zorin
    Max Zorin
    Max Zorin is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film A View to a Kill. He was portrayed by Academy Award winner Christopher Walken...

     (played by Christopher Walken
    Christopher Walken
    Christopher Walken is an American stage and screen actor. He has appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows, including Joe Dirt, Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, The Prophecy trilogy, The Dogs of War, Sleepy Hollow, Brainstorm, The Dead Zone, A View to a Kill, At Close Range, King of New...

    ) which was being infiltrated by Bond (played for the last time by Roger Moore
    Roger Moore
    Sir Roger George Moore KBE , is an English actor, perhaps best known for portraying British secret agent James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985. He also portrayed Simon Templar in the long-running British television series The Saint.-Early life:Moore was born in Stockwell, London...

    ) in his quest to find out more about Zorin, who had already aroused suspicions of MI6 with various business activities, and ultimately eliminate him.
  • Pink Floyd
    Pink Floyd
    Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

     performed, on two consecutive nights, at the château during The Division Bell Tour
    The Division Bell tour
    The Division Bell Tour was a concert tour by British rock band Pink Floyd in 1994 to support their album The Division Bell. In 1995 the band released the live album Pulse to commemorate the tour, which would turn out to be the final Pink Floyd tour, although members of the band have continued to...

     on July 30–31, 1994.
  • Every two years, in June, the "Nuits de Feu" international fireworks
    Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

     competition is held in the château's garden.
  • Ronaldo
    Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima , commonly known as Ronaldo, is a retired Brazilian footballer who last played for Corinthians. Ronaldo is widely considered to be the greatest 'pure' striker in the history of the modern game, and by some accounts, in the history of football. Ronaldo was one of the...

     married model and MTV VJ Daniela Cicarelli
    Daniela Cicarelli
    Daniella Cicarelli Lemos is a former TV show hostess for MTV Brasil and a fashion model. She was engaged to Brazilian footballer Ronaldo for three months in 2005....

     in the château in 2005. The ceremony reportedly cost €700,000.
  • Every May, a rowing regatta, the Trophee des Rois, is held in the grounds. French university crews compete in the 750m race for a trophy.

External links

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