Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Archaeology & History Sites in Oise

Château de Chantilly

What is today one of France’s finest Renaissance castles was built on the site of an 11th century fortress that had command of the road between Senlis and Paris. Through eight centuries of tumultuous history, Chantilly Castle passed between a number owners, and modifications, before it became an exceptional art museum, the Musée Condé. Besides the art galleries, visitors can explore the private suites, lavishly decorated in 18th century décor. In the grounds visitors can stroll through the French formal garden and visit the stables – the largest princely stable in Europe, now home to the Museum of the Horse.

Château de Pierrefonds

The castle of Pierrefonds was built in rapid time, ten years, and completed in 1397 for Louis d’Orléans, son of King Charles V. During the reign of Louis XIII the castle was besieged and reduced to a ruin, later being referred to as the ‘romantic ruin’. Under Napoleon’s III orders, the French architect Viollet-le-Duc started to restore the ruins in the second half or the 19th century. But much of what we see at Pierrefonds today, both inside and out, is Viollet-le-Duc’s reinterpretation of Renaissance and Middle Ages architecture of France. Nonetheless, there is still much to see of the original castle fort, whether by self-guided tour or a guided tour.

Palace of Compiègne

Charles V had the first castle built here, which was nearly complete on his death in 1380. It was a favourite summer retreat with a number of succeeding kings of France. But the Neoclassical castle we see today owes much to Louis XV who liked to hunt in the adjacent forest. His grandson, Louis XVI, had new wings added. Following the French revolution the furniture and art was sold, and the castle became the home of a military academy until Napoleon I chose to live here. Napoleon had the castle substantially refurbished, some of the décor and furnishings can still be seen today. Open to the public are the grandest imperial apartments of the First Empire. The palace also houses the National Car Museum.

Museums & Art Galleries in Oise

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