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The unspoilt treasures of a 19th century prince

The Château de Chantilly is one of the finest jewels in the crown of France’s cultural heritage. It is the work of a man with an extraordinary destiny: Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of the last King of France, Louis-Philippe. This prince, who is considered to be the greatest collector of his time, made Chantilly the showcase for his countless masterpieces and precious manuscripts. The Château survived down through the centuries and remains as it was when the Duke of Aumale gave it as a gift it to the Institut de France in 1886, making it the perfect place to take a journey back in time to the heart of a princely residence. In tribute to his illustrious predecessors, the Princes of Condé, the Duke of Aumale called the series of rooms housing his collection the “Condé Museum”.

The Art galleries

The Duke of Aumale designed the art galleries as a showcase for his exceptional collections. He put together the second largest collection of antique paintings in France, after the Louvre Museum. In keeping with the Duke of Aumale’s wishes, the layout of the paintings remains unchanged since the 19th century, providing a unique possibility to travel back in time and discover the typical museography of the time.

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The Large Suites

Located on the 1st floor of the Château, the large suites were used as reception rooms by the Princes of Bourbon-Condé. They are a wonderful example of the ceremonial decors in fashion in the 18th century and provide a broad variety of decorative arts, furniture and Old Master paintings. These areas, which were severely looted during the Revolution, were reconfigured in the 19th century by the Duke of Aumale, who collected, acquired and inherited precious furniture and decorative arts from the royal family and the royal châteaux with which he recreated the grandeur and opulence of the time of the Princes of Condé.

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The Private Suites

The Duke and Duchess of Aumale’s private suites are located on the ground floor of the Petit Château. The Duke of Aumale had them decorated in 1845-1847 by the Romantic painter and decorator Eugène Lami, shortly after their wedding. This the only Princely suite dating from the July Monarchy that is still intact. Only accessible in guided tours for small groups, these living quarters are filled with memories and provide a unique testimony to the personal life of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale.

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The Reading Room

The Château de Chantilly houses one of the most extensive libraries France. The treasures accumulated by the various owners of Chantilly were added to and enhanced with passion by the Duke of Aumale, who was the greatest bibliophile of his time. The reading room designed by architect Honoré Daumet at the end of the 19th century forms a showcase for the manuscripts of the princes of Condé and the Duke of Aumale’s treasures.

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