Wednesday 10 March 2010

Haras du Pin

Before a new autoroute was built, our preferred route to and from France was through Normandy, a very beautiful part of the country.  The high spot as far as I was concerned was passing the Haras du Pin, sometimes called the equestrian Versailles.

The comparison with Versailles isn't an idle one, the buildings and surroundings are magnificent, and the estate was founded by the Sun King, Louis XIV to provide the French army and the stables in Versailles itself with a reliable source of good quality horses.  In Napoleon's time there was still a need for horses, so he reorganised the stables and the Haras Royal (the royal stud farm) became the Haras National (the National Stud Farm). 

There are ten different breeds on the estate, four of which are considered to have their origins there.  The latest addition, though, is the Normandy donkey, once used extensively in market gardens and farms, nowadays for driving or trekking.

It's a place well worth a visit for the buildings alone (it is listed as one of the French National Monuments) but there are also race days, exhibitions and displays.  The countryside all around is lush, green, and beautifully manicured.

H is for Haras, and horses of course.  A post for ABC Wednesday.

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  1. Normandy, a very important spot during WW-II.
    Very interesting and thanks for your information. :)

  2. Thank you for another very useful historical information.have a great day!

  3. Great to see parts of Douce France highlighted! I have never been there, but my daughters have.

  4. Looks a most interesting place - I'd probably love it!

    On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

  5. Haras, eh? A new word for me for my growing French vocabulary. I'm up to three now. Thank you. :) And it doesn't mean "horse". But then, you never said it did.

  6. Interesting and great post for H!

  7. Enjoy reading the information, must be a very nice place to visit.


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