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Court Culture and the Horse 1700-1900 Versailles, Chantilly and Compiègne



Court Culture and the Horse 1700-1900

 Versailles, Chantilly and Compiègne


6 – 11 October 2024

This course is now closed to applications

This intensive short course will explore the central role of horses, ceremonial carriages and grand stable complexes within French court culture during the long eighteenth century. By connecting these objects and spaces with their immediate surroundings, we hope to reach a more nuanced understanding of their importance in French aristocratic life and of how this is reflected in the architecture, interiors and art collections of the palaces and chateaux we will be visiting.

The programme is planned to coincide with a major new exhibition entitled Cheval en majesté, au coeur d’une civilisation to be held at the Château de Versailles. We will spend the first full day of the course visiting the palace, including the great and small stables, highly important spaces often overlooked by visitors. From our hotel in the 19th arrondissement, we will travel by coach to the Château de Chantilly to study the spectacular eighteenth-century stables (the largest princely stables in Europe), the newly redisplayed Musée du Cheval, and the interiors and collections of the château. A day will be spent at the Château de Compiègne, a palace built to indulge Louis XV’s passion for hunting and now also the home of the Musée Nationale de la Voiture, established in 1927, comprising the foremost collection of horse-drawn vehicles, harnesses and livery in France. Other visits in Paris will explore smaller spaces with equine connections, including the cavalry department of the Republican Guard who were responsible for protecting the Kings of France and who now play an important ceremonial role.

The course will be supported by a team of French experts, including senior curators from Versailles, Chantilly and Compiègne, who will enable privileged access and insights throughout.


Director, Court Culture and the Horse 1700-1900

Elizabeth Jamieson

Course Co-ordinator

Rita Grudzień

Enrolment and fees

The cost of the residential course is £2,950.This includes accommodation, breakfast, most lunches and dinners. Tuition, admissions and travel by private coach during the course are also included. Accommodation throughout will be in single-occupancy rooms with en-suite facilities.


The deadline for applications is 11th February 2024.  All candidates will be notified by the end of April 2024 if they have been awarded a place.  Payment of fees in full will be due by 30th April 2024, and may be made by bank transfer or with a sterling cheque.  Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation, as no refunds will be made following payment, unless the place can be filled by another suitable candidate.  In such a case, an administrative fee of £100 will be made.

There is only limited scholarship funding for this course so applicants who are unable to meet the fees are encouraged to approach their institutions for full or partial financial assistance before applying for the course.  Please email Rita Grudzień for further information on this.

Please note that The Attingham Trust is a registered educational charity. Our courses are provided occasionally, on a not-for-profit basis and to a limited group of participants. This trip does not, therefore, constitute a ‘package holiday’ for the purpose of the Package Travel Regulations
The Council of The Attingham Trust reserves the right to adjust fees if there is a substantial change in the exchange rate, as these were assessed on the basis of assumptions made in November 2023. Should this prove necessary, members will be informed.
Image: Vue panoramic de Versailles avec les écuries royales au premier plan (detail), Versailles, Musee Lambinet

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