Crown jewel castle - Château de Chantilly
Among all the beautiful castles in France, Château de Chantilly has been the one that climbs on the top of my list, not only because of its picturesque surroundings and the amazing classic car show each year - the Concours Chantilly Arts & Elégance, the castle itself has its own charm already with its incredible history, and of course, the Renaissance architecture details.
Approximately an hour away from Paris by train, this beautiful castle is formed by 2 different main properties, the 'Petit Château' (small castle) which was built in around mid 16th century for Anne de Montmorency, a Constable of France from a noble family, and the 'Grand Château'. The 'Grand Château' we see nowadays was not look like that in the past, the original castle was being destroyed during the French Revolution, and having the castle entirely rebuilt during the late 19th century by Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale. One can simply feel the glory of nobility, and the spectacular of the castle as soon as you passed by the Chantilly racecourse, the contrast of the endless nature as the background with the castle located right in the middle looks absolutely stunning.
Of course, apart from the beautiful view, the chateâu's library and the art gallery - Musée Condé, is also the place that worth visit especially for ancient art lovers, this gallery has the finest collection of master paintings after The Louvre Museum, and some precious books and manuscripts from 15th to 16th century.
The entire experience is memorable and breathtaking, simply because my passion with the delicate architecture details from Renaissance that fascinates me, one of the perfect example is the spectacular staircase in the Hall of Honour (and just fyi, the handrails cannot be touched), also, another thing is the restoration work that makes the castle still stands until today, and the donation from the great hearts that keeping this beautiful castle to be appreciated by tourists around the world. To me, Château de Chantilly is just like a precious piece of crown jewel that shines from within with its incredible splendid architecture details and its beautiful story.