We drove an hour north of Paris to see the Chateau de Chantilly. You come around the corner on a “round-about” and it’s right there – big as can be!
The chateau is actually two chateaux in one, the Petit and the Grand. They were built around 1560. The main entrance is a 19thcentury reconstruction of the original that was destroyed in the Revolution (1790s.)
The rooms are appropriately grand.
The Library had an amazing number of illuminated texts.
The last owner was a huge art collector.
There are acres of gardens. You could easily spend a day exploring them.
We enjoyed a nice lunch in the restaurant of the chateau, located in the kitchen cellars. I had the quiche – four cheese and potatoes.
We next headed to the ancient town of Senlis, just 10 minutes away.
This is the Cathedral of Notre Dame, built between 1151 and 1191. The spire was added in 1240. Lightening caused a fire in 1504 and parts of the cathedral were rebuilt with lacy stonework.
This is a clever shutter holder. There were lots of different faces.
These are 12th century ruins of the royal palace built into Roman ramparts. And this is an ancient arch, La Fausse Porte, a gate of the Roman wall. A school was letting out when we were there with many parents picking up their kids, most on foot.
You know you’re in an ancient city when the streets are hardly wide enough for a car.
We headed home, taking the slower road rather than the super highway, hoping to miss some traffic. Wrong….. turns out lots of trucks wanted to go our way too. Then we were led astray by our car’s GPS and ended up taking a rather long detour on a super highway (with a toll!) to get back on track. We sure saw a lot of the pretty countryside. Gently rolling hills and farm fields. It looks a lot like Iowa without the corn and with cuter villages.