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Fodor's France 2014
Grandes Écuries (Grand Stables)
Grandes Écuries (Grand Stables) Review
The palatial 18th-century Grandes Écuries by the racetrack, built by Jean Aubert in 1719 to accommodate 240 horses and 500 hounds for stag and boar hunts in the forests nearby, are the grandest stables in France. With 30 breeds of horses and ponies housed in straw-lined comfort—in between dressage performances in the courtyard or beneath the majestic central dome—the stables are still in use as the home of the Musée Vivant du Cheval (Living Horse Museum). This fascinating museum, which reopened in June 2013 after a two-year renovation, is not just for horse lovers. The history and importance of the horse is explored through an array of artifacts, prints, paintings, textiles, sculptures, equipment, and weaponry. Visitors can enjoy the elaborate horse shows and dressage demonstrations scheduled year-round. For precise days and times check the website.
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