Chaalis is an ancestral domain on which you will find the ruins of a royal abbey, a rose garden and a castle. Ducks too.

Chaalis, which is about sixty kilometers Northeast of Paris, is a confidential destination, except if you are a Jacquemart-André collections’ fanatic, that is.

The royal abbey, of which naught remains but Saint-Mary’s chapel, was built by Louis VI in 1136. As centuries flew by, the abbey became an important economic and intellectual center and saw many visiting kings and several renowned Italian artists.

After being sold off as national property during the French Revolution, the domain became a hunting lodge, before being purchased by Nélie Jacquemart in 1902.

Upon her death, she bequeathed both her Parisian property – the future Jacquemart-André museum – and the Chaalis domain to the Institute of France.

Between the majestic ruins, the gorgeous park, the charming rose garden, the refreshing orangery, the beautiful castle and the art collections, Chaalis is absolutely dazzling. And it will fill you with serenity.

May 15, 2020