The Great Stables and Museum of the Horse , Chantilly of course!

So in rounding up my latest visit to Chantilly, I take you to the Grandes Ecuries et Musée du Cheval or the Great Stables and the Museum of the Horse. A huge building of historical and architectural proportion worth seeing alone. However, if you add the two stables and museum then it becomes a must visit while in France , me think.

Let me tell you a bit on it just a bit ok, there is always plenty of things to do here. For info , I have come with the family and also on business conferences that have been held in the Grande Ecuries!

The Museum of the Horse is a museum and an equestrian show room located in the Great Stables of  the Domaine de Chantilly in the dept 60 of the Oise, and region of Hauts-de-France.

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It was opened to the public in 1982 to house the Living Museum of the Horse which was completely renovated in 2013. This museum intended for all audiences, tells through more than 200 objects and works of art the importance of the relationship between man and horse since the beginning of civilizations and offers “live” equestrian animations, educational presentations and shows.

The great stables were built between 1719 and 1740 at the request of the seventh prince of Conde, Louis Henri de Bourbon who, according to legend, thought to be reincarnated as a horse and wanted stables worthy of his rank. The stables were home to 240 horses and 500 dogs in different packs for the daily hunts that took place throughout the year.

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The museum was totally closed at the beginning of 2009 for renovation work. The large dome of the stables was reopened in 2009 after the installation of new stands and the extension of the central track.  A complete overhaul of the other rooms of the museum took place and all the rooms reopened on the 16th June 2013.

The collections come from the Condé museum’s reserves or from private collections, notably those of the Aga Khan. They testify to the different uses of the horse and the aesthetic forms appreciated throughout the world.  The Museum of the Horse tackles several themes: the history of the domestication of the horse, the different races of horses in the world or the evolution of the forms of harnessing through the centuries. A room is thus dedicated to the tools invented by the man to control his mount.

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A collection of Bohemian glass vases engraved from the mid-19C illustrates the representation of the horse in art and more specifically in the decorative arts. Bibliophilia is also present with a set of ancient books related to the horse. The horse races, which are the hallmark of Chantilly since 1834, are represented in two rooms of the museum, a video allows to discover the evolution of the position of the jockeys throughout the ages. Finally, a set of carousel animals is exhibited in the museum, with several carved wooden horses. In the West housing, two horse-drawn carriages are on display: the Empress’s carriage and the Duke of Bourbon’s sedan.

The Grandes Écuries are home to some forty horses, donkeys and ponies who regularly take part in demonstrations of dressage in the quarry outside the museum as well as shows that take place under the 28-meter dome transformed into an equestrian venue. Today, the horses of the Grandes Ecuries are essentially Iberian, Pure breed Spanish Andalucians and Portuguese Lusitano. They usually arrive at the museum at the age of four or five, and after two to three years of training, from lower to high school, they gradually enter the track. First in educational presentations, then in shows.

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Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Domaine de Chantilly on the Great Stables

Tourist office of Chantilly on Equestrian shows

Tourist office of dept 60 Oise on the great stables museum

Further these Great Stables were converted into barracks during the French revolution  and took again life after 1815. The real big push in constrution took place in 1847 thanks to the Orléans’ family. Today, the official brochure tells us that there are 8 jockeys, 26 horses, 8 poneys, and 3 donkeys. 1040 irons fit in per year and 40 kg of manure per horse and per day! 6 kg of hay, 6 liters of pellets, and 50 liters of water per horse per day. Also, does more than 150 spectacles per year and equestrians shows every day.

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The building is divided into the Cour des Chenils or kennel court that allowed division of dogs by pedegree, the Dôme or cupola where the spectacles are held since the 18C and today the jockeys on equestrians shows. The Cour des Remises or discount court at a time served as guard of the wagons of the princes and caleches, and was completely renovated in 2011!! And I was there yes!!!

The museum of the horse has 15 rooms in the Cour des Remises des Grandes Ecuries. Rooms 1 to 3 host the visitor and introduce you to the art of the horse. Rooms 4 to 9 show the domestication of the horse all over the world and the work they do in our lives. Room 9 shows the hunting horse. The last of the visit starts with room 10 showing the leisure activities with the horse and equestrian sporting events. The big room 13 shows the horse and the artists of our times to the carrousels of the little ones, kids. Once living the museum see on the West nave hippomobiles of the 19C preserve in France such as the Caléche of the Empresses and the wagon of the duke of Bourbon guarded at the Condé museum.

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Finally, on the way out had my meal of the day and came back as usually do the the Pizzeria Ristorante Napoli at 5 avenue du général leclerc or road D1016 not far from the hippodrome de Chantilly. This we have been before and for memories sake decided alone to come back to it. Never disappointed excellent Italian restaurant . The welcome is like family warm and very funny really all is good to put simply a nice lunch/dinner meal inside dining room with views of the road. I just had my Chorizo pizza , haa of course!! with a 1/4 bottle of Médoc house red and expresso coffee for 21 euros. Nice. no web for info Tel +33 (0) 3 44 57 40 09. Buon appetito!!!

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And there you go a one two dandy on your way out see wonderful history of a beautiful animal and great food in royally Chantilly! My belle France is amazing indeed! Hope you enjoy it too

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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