Chantilly’s Private Princely Apartments Reopening
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Heather Stimmler-Hall in Chantilly, Condé, French Culture, French royalty, July Monarchy, Le Nôtre, Louis-Philip, Outside Paris, Sightseeing, gardens, last king of France, prince

There are many things that make the Domaine de Chantilly unique (and, in my opinion, much more interesting to visit than Versailles). Its last resident was Henri d’Orléans, Duke d'Aumale, and son of the last King of France, Louis-Philippe. His family’s princely apartments, the only remaining examples from the Monarchie de Juillet in France, will be reopened this month after several years of careful renovations.

The Duke and Duchesse d’Aumale’s Private Apartments were created in 1845 within the oldest part of Château de Chantilly, the Renaissance-era Petit Château built in 1557 for the Connétable Anne de Montmorency. The rooms were opened for guided tours for the first time in 1993, relatively untouched since the death of the Duc d’Aumale. But the faded tapestries, sagging wood floors, worn-out gilt and yellowed paintings needed a total makeover.

If you haven’t been to Chantilly yet, make this the year to take the plunge. Just 40 minutes by RER from Gare du Nord, the Domaine is right on the edge of the adorable little town of Chantilly, surrounded by wooded forests, and noticeably less crowded than Versailles. There’s much to see: a Renaissance Château with an art collection of world-renowned antique masterpiece paintings, Le Nôtre Gardens (with a cute hamlet that inspired Marie Antoinette to have her own constructed), the famous Chantilly Hippodrome, and the magnificent 18th century Great Stables (the largest in Europe), now home to the Living Horse Museum.

Practical Information

The Private Apartments of the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale reopen on February 23, 2019. Access is only possible during a private tour, of which there are three daily in French, and one in English at 11:30am. The tours are €5 per person (in addition to the château entrance fee). You can purchase the tour tickets at the entrance of the Château or reserve in advance online.

Open daily EXCEPT Tuesday from 10:30am-5pm in Low Season (until March 29, 2019), and daily 10am-6pm in High Season (until October 29, 2019). The gardens always stay open at least one hour after the château closes. Domaine tickets are €17 (includes audio guide, temporary exhibitions, and a dressage show at the Living Horse Museum), €13.50 for kids. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 kids) are €48.

Previous Secrets of Paris articles about Chantilly:

-       Secret Tip: The Train to Chantilly 

-       Fancy Hats for a Day at the Chantilly Races 

-       Bike Tours of the Parisian Countryside 

Update on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 by Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

A Secrets of Paris reader altered us to a new "Pack Ter: Domaine de Chantilly" where you can get a combined round-trip TER train ticket and entrance ticket to the Domaine (château, gardens, stables) for just €25 for adults, and €1 for each accompanying child under 12 (three kids max). You can pick this up at the Gare du Nord TER/Regional Train ticket window or in the automated distributors. Considering the cheapest adult train tickets are €8.10 each way plus €15.50 for a dated ticket for the château, you save quite a bit of money this way.

This special combined ticket is mentioned in English on the Château's website, and the official info on the SNCF website is here.

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