The palatial stables at Château de Chantilly were created in 1719 for the aristocratic Louis-Henri de Bourbon, the seventh prince of Condé. Legend dictates that this deeply eccentric equine lover believed that he would be reincarnated as a horse and he commissioned architect Jean Aubert to create stabling to suit a horse of his princely rank; the results are a masterpiece of restrained neo-classical architecture and are the largest — and certainly most luxurious —stables in Europe. They span some 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet), with wooden stalls for 250 horse as well as kennels for several packs of hounds – they even escaped destruction in the French Revolution of the 1790s, when they were used as barracks. The centerpiece of the stables is the magnificent circular manège (riding school), where equestrian shows are held daily, showcasing the fine art of high dressage. The stables are also home to the Musée Vivant du Cheval (Living Museum of the Horse), where the close relationship between man and horse is examined in a series of artistic displays.
Located at 60500 Chantilly. Open November-March, Wednesday-Monday from 10:30am-5pm, and from April-October, daily from 10am-6pm. Admission costs adults €16, while concessions are €9.50 and include an audio guide and dressage show. Chantilly is 20 minutes from central Paris by train from the Gare du Nord.