Private Guided Tours From Paris By Car By Driver-Guide-France Castles of Chantilly & Ecouen

May 24, 2019

The Stunning Castle Of Chantilly And The Interesting Museum Dedicated to Renaissance at Enghien. Ile De France Region

The castle of Chantilly doesn’t have the fame of Versailles or the charm of the castles of the Loire river nevertheless it is a great opportunity to visit an exceptionnal site, located just a hour drive outside Paris!
Besides Chantilly is very famous for its Equestrian shows and its stunning « Great Stables » built during the 18C.

The castle we can see today is actually the 6th one ever built on that emplacement !the 1st one dates back from the 14C (nothing left,except it foundations ) the last one dates back to the 19C! The main castle was detroyed during the Revolution,then rebuilt for its last own,the Duke of Aumale ,at the very end of the 19C ; The oldest part (16C,in a Renaissance style ) is named « Le Petit Château » visible here to the right ;the mowest building ) whereas the Grand Château is seen to the left,with is round towers ( 3 round towers in all ,there are a reminiscent of the former medieval stronghold )
The most intereting point with the castle of Chantilly (besides its famous Condé museum, but I’m talking today only about the container ,not the contents) it is its amazing history, made of amazing stories, glory, intrigues and disasters! and that from the very beginning to nowadays!

Over 700 years of history, and so many different owners coming from different origins, from one who was the « échanson » (cup-bearer ) of the king and therfore became immensely powerful and rich ; even his name comes from his job Le Bouteiller ( the bottler ) up to the son of King Louis-Philippe, the Duke of Aumale ,passing by Le Grand Condé, a cousin of King Henri IV, like him a descendant of Charles de Bourbon ; He was also an heir to the throne of France! The story of his main builder for instance is quite interesting! Anne de Montmorancy (Anne those days was a forename for a boy) became the Constable during the reign of 3 different kings (mainly during the 16C ; He became immensely whealthy owned up to 600 fiefs and over 120 castles!

Among them the castle of Enghien, not far at all from Chantilly ; It is today an interesting museum, dedicated to the Renaissance ; Interestly, that was the very castle where the 2 celebrated statues by the great italian sculptor Michael Angelo were displayed! they are today the pride of the Louvre museum ; nevertheless copies of them are displayed today at the castles of Enghien and Chantilly .

Their story is quite interesting! Initially they were part of a project commissionned to Michael Angelo by Pope Julius II, but when he saw the project he gave up the idea! So a Henri II de Montmorancy decided to purchase the 2 statues then offered them to Richelieu in order to be forgiven since he has been plotting for a while against him, and above all again King Louis XIII!

Well it didn’t work that well for him,since he has nevertheless be beheaded in Toulouse because of plotting against the king of France! “Crime de Lèse-Majesté” Sacre bleu!

On the other hand that extreme harshness from king Louis XIII and Richelieu did pay off, by acting like that they tamed the French nobility for a while! until the French Revolution, that is to say over 150 years!

To be continued…

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