Exhibition - Fair - Open doors

Fantastic Sleighs

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The collection of ceremonial sleighs at the Château de Compiègne is one of the most beautiful in Europe. Some incredible pieces have been restored to be presented for this Bal gallery exhibition. The great decorative richness and variety of styles of these objects await you at the Château de Compiègne !

In Europe, the sleigh, both in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, was mainly a ceremonial vehicle, a carousel sleigh or intended for races that the princely courts particularly appreciated. Taking the form of real or fantastic animals, they also embody mythological or allegorical figures. The festive use of the sleigh is associated with ostentatious demonstrations allowing the power, fortune and social rank of its owner to be exalted. Under the influence of the Court of France, the carousel evolved into a procession and parade. The fashion for the ceremonial sleigh continued into the XNUMXth century; Joséphine enjoys walks and runs while in the Bois de Boulogne, frozen lakes were reserved for these aristocratic pleasures under the Second Empire.

The collection of sleds at the National Car Museum allows us to evoke these stories of carousels, ring games, speed, festivals, parades with the tinkling of bells under the sparkle of gold and precious fabrics. It was formed as much by the great Parisian coachbuilders (Auscher, Mühlbacher), by private collectors as by purchases and deposits, notably in 1936 by the National Museum of the Middle Ages.

The selection of exhibits, where fantastic creatures stand out, such as the seahorse, the dragon or the salamander, mixed with animals like the eagle, composes a striking and marvelous bestiary. Sleds from the Netherlands have specific shapes, such as the Dutch ceremonial sleigh, characterized by a strongly curved body.

Presented in the sumptuous setting of the Château's Ballroom Gallery de Compiègne, this selection made from a part of the museum's collections that is usually not very visible constitutes a highlight of the visit to the royal and imperial apartments.

This presentation is also the opportunity for a major restoration. Heavily soiled, some brushed with a substance based on linseed oil that time has browned, cleaning the sleds made it possible to find the original gilding and colors. These interventions were for several of them a real resurrection.


  • Adult rate 10€
  • Reduced price 9€


From: 20 / 10 / 23 To: 24 / 09 / 24
  • Monday : from 10AM to 00PM
  • Wednesday : from 10AM to 00PM
  • Thursday : from 10AM to 00PM
  • Friday : from 10AM to 00PM
  • On Saturday: from 10AM to 00PM
  • Sunday: from 10AM to 00PM


Castle of de Compiègne
Place du General de Gaulle
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