These two small towns, Chantilly and Senlis in Picardy are less than an hourís drive from Paris and only about 6 miles apart.Our visit to Chantilly was very short, just a drive through, really. Chantilly is the center of horse race training in France and neither of us are very interested in either horses or in their racing. There were two attractions that we did want to see there, and we saw them, took photos, and left for Senlis, a medieval town of much more interest to us because it has a very old Cathedral.
The two things we wanted to see in Chantilly are the Chateau and the famous stables that once belonged to the Chateau. Both are located in a large park which also contains a 17th century French garden designed by the same person who designed the grounds at Versailles. There is also an 18th century English garden. The Chateau is very impressive, but you will not believe the stables. From the outside, they look like another Chateau. It's existence is due to the so-called Grand Conde, a relative of King Louis XIV, who believed that after his death he would be reincarnated as a horse. He certainly made sure that he would have a royal abode in which his new body would take up residence.Today the stables are also a museum devoted to the horse.
The Chateau was owned by the Conde family and today it includes the Conde Museum of Art which claims that it is next only to the Louvre in the quantity and quality of its art collection. Unfortunately we did not visit the museum, which also includes period apartments and a library.
Senlis is a pre-Roman city with narrow, cobblestone streets and a very old Cathedral on a site where a Christian church existed in the 4th century.