a grand reopening

by Sharon Santoni

To the north of Paris lies the beautiful Chateau de Chantilly.  Definitely one of my favourites.  I love to go there for the bi-annual flower shows, and for the horse races, and sometimes just to enjoy the park and the interior of the Chateau with its amazing library of botanical volumes, and the very personally curated art collection.


The outside of Chateau de Chantilly outside of Paris | Grand Opening of the newly Remodeled 19th century apartments | My French Country Home

Photo by Anna Pakutina


Just last month, the Château de Chantilly had a special grand reveal of the finished renovations of the private apartments some dating back to the 1500s, the most historical parts of the chateau! The apartments were first opened to the public in 1993. At that time, they were in much the same state as when the Duke of Aumale died in 1897. The Duke was the last and probably most significant owner of the Chateau who bequeathed the property to the Institut de France in 1886, with the condition that on his death, it would be turned into a museum. Part of his request was that the property stays in its current state, and to this day, it remains a preserved gem of 19th-century art and interiors.

There were a couple of touch-ups along the way to maintain the condition of the rooms, but it wasn’t until 2017 that they were closed to complete an intensive effort. The paneled walls had greyed and the flour warped with age, the wall hangings especially damaged by the sun.

The restoration was methodical with the intent of bringing each room in the private apartments back to when they were first opened to the public. It started with carefully removing each work of art, and creating an oxygen-free “bubble” to remove any unwanted guests from the woodwork. Even the paneling and parquet floors were painstakingly removed, and the results are extraordinary…

Interior with gold gilding and turquoise accents | Grand Opening of the newly Remodeled 19th century apartments | My French Country Home


The Dukes Red Salon at Chateau de Chantilly | Grand Opening of the newly Remodeled 19th century apartments | My French Country Home

Interior Shots of Chateau de Chantilly outside of Paris | Grand Opening of the newly Remodeled 19th century apartments | My French Country Home

Bathroom in the private apartments at Chateau de Chantilly | Grand Opening of the newly Remodeled 19th century apartments | My French Country Home

The Duchess' Violet Room at Chateau de Chantilly | Grand Opening of the newly Remodeled 19th century apartments | My French Country Home

The Château celebrates the opening with an exhibition as well, ongoing until March 19th, showing the art of Eugène Lami, who also did the original artwork that adorns the private apartments.

Note that there are daily tours in English at 11:30 am.

A wonderful place nearby I’d recommend to stay is Guest & House.


All interior photos credited to Sophie Lloyd.


tracy brown March 5, 2019 - 2:45 pm

I can only imagine the efforts to bring it back to it’s stunning reveal! It’s simply beautiful.

Taste of France March 5, 2019 - 3:10 pm

Oh, my goodness, just look at that starburst in the parquet in the last photo. Exquisite.
Having renovated a historic property, my mind reels at the thought of how much this one cost. Yowza.

Barbara. Newell March 5, 2019 - 3:14 pm

My husband and I lived in St Germain en Laye in the early 90’s and I went here several times. Glad to hear it has been restored. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn Casper March 5, 2019 - 3:45 pm

Oh Sharon! This is specular!! I really want to see this!
I was there about 30 years ago, so I’m sure it has changed so much since then.
Thank you so much for sharing this treasure with us!
⚜️⚜️⚜️ Lynn Casper

franki March 5, 2019 - 4:03 pm

WOW!!!! franki

Valerie March 5, 2019 - 4:11 pm

Lavishly stunning!

Carolyn March 5, 2019 - 4:29 pm

Very beautifully done.

Penny March 5, 2019 - 7:06 pm

We went to the Chateau, on your recommendation, with Michel, I will never forget it. Those beautiful stables, and wonderful horse museum!

Gayle Callahan March 5, 2019 - 7:45 pm

Have you ever compiled a list of places to stay for some of your older readers. I am 83 and have trouble dealing with a lot of stairs, climbing into a large claw footed bath tub etc. So many of the wonderful places you recommend just would not do for me.

David Phillips March 5, 2019 - 8:21 pm

Your blog post certainly makes me want to visit!!! Beautiful.

Roberta March 5, 2019 - 8:26 pm

thank you so much for sharing French news with me ! I visited the castle 2 years ago and I enjoyed the visit a lot. Now it should be even better!

Victoria Castura Boylan March 5, 2019 - 9:48 pm

I could live there!

Michele M. March 5, 2019 - 10:02 pm

Oh, how I wish I could be there to tour that incredible place! And the recommendation to stay – wonderful. Thank you for this beautiful French history eye candy. Just wow!!!!!

david terry March 5, 2019 - 11:22 pm

I know, I know………Im a horrible person with execrable, unsophisticated tastes. That said?……I can’t stand to be in or look at those suffocatingly OVER-decorated and ultra-gilded, screaming “WE’RE EXTREMELY RICH!” interiors of 16th and 17th century French chateaus (although the exteriors are often quite beautiful, of course). No wonder they had a revolution. I’ll take small manoirs over Chantilly and Chiverny (Et al) any day. For various reason, I don’t at all mind the chateaus that were looted during the revolution……rather like the beautifully austere church of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona; you can actually see the medieval structure, since, during the 1838 uprisings, folks poured in, piled up all the gilded crap from the previous two centuries and burnt it in an enormous bonfire.

Oh well…..there’s a good reason I’ve always been completely obsessed with Cistercian churches and have avoided ever actually going into St. Peter’s in Rome. I must have some innate allergy to gilding.

Of course, as a Southern American, I can’t hear the word “Chantilly” without recalling the Jerry Lee Lewis song about his 14 year old cousin/bride……..

Abashedly yours,

David Terry
Quail Roost Farm
Rougemont, NC

Emm March 7, 2019 - 7:34 am

Amazing rooms and sumptuous almost beyond belief, although that bathtub would make me nervous. I’d worry that the lid might slam down at an inopportune moment.
Such a contrast with the places listed in the link you gave for places to stay; those all seem to acknowledge the past while they live in the modern present.

Laura March 7, 2019 - 10:34 pm

Absolutely beautiful!!! Now I am going to have to take a trip to Northern France!

Susan March 10, 2019 - 7:59 pm

Beautiful beyond words. Oh, how I would love to visit! Thank you for bringing a small bit of France to my Texas world.

Rita Parker March 11, 2019 - 6:28 pm

You are so lucky. That would be a beautiful place to tour, as well as attending the annual flower show. Thanks for the eye candy. Simply beautiful

Ernest oyoyinc March 9, 2020 - 10:11 am

Beautiful and very Inviting.


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