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.
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…
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.