Chateaus Chantilly & Vicomte

May 3rd, 2019, 01:34 PM
  #1  
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Chateaus Chantilly & Vicomte

I was thinking of visiting at least one or perhaps both. Interested in history, architecture, and gardens. Which one do you prefer? Any good to know info is appreciated.

OBTW, is Chateau de Vincennes similar to them? All three look like good day-trip options.
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May 3rd, 2019, 01:50 PM
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Well never got to Vaux-le-Vicomte because was hard to get to by public transit - now there is a bus from a train station I believe. The Chantilly experience also includes such things as one of Europe's largest stables and the chance to see equestrian practice sessions. Chantilly is in a nice suburb of Paris where creme Chantilly was invented. both are surrounded bu formal parks and gardens and nature - If you have time visit both.

Vaux-le-Vicomte:

https://www.google.com/search?q=vaux...w=1280&bih=625

Chantilly: https://www.google.com/search?q=chan...w=1280&bih=625

Vincennes is way way different - and not much compared to the other two but it is in Paris so not much times needed to visit it by RER or metro trains:

https://www.google.com/search?q=chat...w=1280&bih=625
PalenQ is offline  
May 3rd, 2019, 01:50 PM
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Chantilly is nice from the outside - but it is mainly art inside. So not much of a history or architecture focus in the interior. Viacomte is our favorite in the Paris region, along with Fountainbleu & Versailles. You can read about them by doing some Googling.

We were underwhelmed with Vincennes.

Stu Dudley
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May 3rd, 2019, 02:05 PM
  #4  
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Yes, I do a bit of googling before I post a thread, mainly to visualize a place and discard bad options. but it’s always good to get feedback from the forum as many online reviews leave me a bit unsatisfied or confused.
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May 3rd, 2019, 02:10 PM
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Folks here have written before about a bus tour from Paris that visited both Vaux and Fontainebleu on same day at a rather cheap cost. Sorry don't know the bus company name.
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May 3rd, 2019, 02:47 PM
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I have been to both Vaux-le-Vicomte + Fontainbleu as well as Senlis + Chantilly. They are not one over another type of differences. Vaux-le-Vicomte is feels more grandiose palace while Chantilly feels more like a fairy tale castle with museum inside. Chantilly has equistrian shows, but you have to time the visit properly. I did not visit Chantilly until many visits to Paris because I felt it was worth visiting if I had enough time to combine with Senlis.
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May 3rd, 2019, 03:00 PM
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I’ve been to Chantilly three or four times ( have a relative that lives in nearby Lamorlaye ) and I’ve always enjoyed it - have strawberries and Chantilly cream in the garden cafe , and the museum inside is excellent, andnof course visit the horse museum and Royal stables just across street .

Weve been to Vinnccennes once - it’s ok - obviously cheap, fast and easy to get to , but pretty barren .
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May 3rd, 2019, 03:15 PM
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It's Fontainebleau, not Fontainebleu (there's nothing blue about it).

Chantilly is picture-perfect, with a moat and swans and all the right castle touches, and a magnificent small-portrait collection inside. Good exhibitions outside in summer showing off the local horses and showcasing the medieval history. And yes, you can visit the stables and see horseraces on the local track if you plan ahead. And Senlis is just down the road, a short bus ride away.

Vaux le Vicomte is a more formal castle, with lovely gardens and light shows, I believe, on summer evenings.
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May 3rd, 2019, 03:31 PM
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Vincennes is very impressive as a monument but there's practically nothing inside and except for the beautiful cat running up and down the stairs I found it dull. Anyway it's in Paris and metro line No. 1 takes you directly there.

I agree Chantilly is a picture-perfect yet I loved every minute there. I read there's a bus from the train station to the chateau but I walked all the way through the woods. It was winter and it was beautiful with all the leaves on the ground. I'm sure this time of the year it's even more beautiful. I warmly recommend!

I've been to Fontainbleau once and I liked it but felt I didn't explore it enough, so on my upcoming trip to Paris in 2 weeks I intend to revisit.
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May 3rd, 2019, 03:52 PM
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Note that Sembach did not mention "art" or "horses" in either this post or their other "France Concept" post, as one of their many interests. With that in mind - would anyone switch their vote as to whether they should go to Chantilly or Vicomte?

Stu Dudley
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May 3rd, 2019, 04:27 PM
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You can do Chateau Vaux le Vicomte and Chateau de Fontainebleau on the same day. Book through Viator or ParisCityVision. Leaves at 9:15 a.m. -- returns at 6:30. Great day! Here is our day below (with photos). It includes an audioguide at each venue.

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/cha...x-marveilleux/
maitaitom is online now  
May 3rd, 2019, 04:48 PM
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In terms of history, when the King actually saw Vicomte he was so jealous he eventually threw the builder into jail and from all of that Versailles eventually emerged. The place is a PITA to get to unless you use a company's tour but worth it IMO.
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May 3rd, 2019, 08:16 PM
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This is ironic.

We just finished watching a Rick Steves video about "Day Trips from Paris". I have many "issues" with Rick Steves - but on chateaux recommendations - I have none. We are chateaux junkies. We spend 2 months in France every year, and we never pass up a chateau visit if it is close by. This video featured Chartres, Fontainebleau, Versailles, and Vaux le Vicomte. Steves declared that Vaux le Vicomte was the most beautiful chateau in France. Really!!! Rent or search for this video if you do not believe me. We visited it about 3 years ago along with Fountainebleau, Courances, and Champs This past October, while in Paris for 3 weeks we visited Versailles on a Saturday to see the water fountains and gardens, and returned about 1+ weeks later during mid-week to visit the king's chambers & apartments at 9am, and then the remainder of the chateaux after that.

We visited Chantilly about 8-9 years ago. We stayed overnight in Chantilly before driving to CDG in the morning to catch our flight home to San Francisco. Chantilly was somewhat under construction on it's gardens & fountains. The outside of Chantilly was stupendous!!! When we entered the interior, we were really disappointed. Perhaps I had not done enough research - but all we saw was paintings of people. We wanted to see parlors, bedrooms, kitchens. banquet halls, and all the rooms we've seen in about 200-300 other chateaux in France. We were quite disappointed because we have almost zero interest in paintings - especially in people portraits.. We like seeing architecture & visiting rooms where people lived.

Just my thoughts.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; May 3rd, 2019 at 08:19 PM.
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May 3rd, 2019, 08:52 PM
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the main chateau of Vincennes represents a late medieval fortress that was turned into a prison. The buildings on the same grounds are 17th or 18th century buildings. All but the fortress were closed when we visited. A visit to the chateau can be added to a visit to the bois de Vincennes, both at the end of a métro line.

Michael is offline  
May 3rd, 2019, 10:21 PM
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Chantilly is your picture postcard château, the stables visit also extremely interesting. But Senlis cathedral is not to be missed IMO, truly a gem, mostly unexplored by tourists. At*least compared to Chartres and some of the more famous cathedrals...
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May 4th, 2019, 07:53 AM
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I've visited all of them and think they are very different. Vincinnes is nothing remotely like the others, you go there for history.

If you just like looking at chateaux, probably go to Vaux le Vicomte or Fontainebleau. I think Chantilly and Fontainebleau have very nice gardens. I was not impressed with the gardens at Vaux le Vicomte, even though designed by Le Notre. Chantilly is smaller than the others, if I remember correctly. If you are not going because you are actually interested in some place historically (eg, Fontainebleau for Napoleon, there is also a small museum there) because of who lived there, I think Vaux le Vicomte or Fontainebleau is where you'd go for decorative arts/architecture interest. But I think you did not mention Fontainebleau, that was others, so definitely choose Vaux le Vicomte over Chantilly for the chateau itself.

I'd suggest you review their websites as I believe they are doing various renovations at Vaux le Vicomte and some things are torn up, like part of the gardens.
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May 4th, 2019, 09:12 AM
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We are chateaux junkies>

Have you visited a chateau d'Eaux? Every town seems to have one!
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May 4th, 2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
We are chateaux junkies>

Have you visited a chateau d'Eaux? Every town seems to have one!
Don't know. What is it - a public toilet??

Stu Dudley
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May 4th, 2019, 10:49 AM
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You don't know a chateau d'eaux when you see one on the highest place in any village or town?
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May 4th, 2019, 12:00 PM
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I guess not.
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