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Longchamp Racecourse

 

Longchamp Racecourse

Longchamp Racecourse
Location Route des tribunes 75016 Paris
Owned by France Galop
Date opened 1857
Course type Flat
Notable races Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Official website

The Longchamp Racecourse (French: Hippodrome de Longchamp) is a 57 hectare horse-racing facility located on the Route des Tribunes in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France. Built on the banks of the Seine River, it is used for flat racing and is noted for its variety of interlaced tracks and a famous hill that provides a real challenge to competing thoroughbreds. It has several racetracks varying from 1,000 to 4,000 metres in length with 46 different starting posts. The course is home to more than half of the group one races held in France, and has a capacity of 50,000. The highlight of the calendar is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Held on the first weekend in October, the prestigious event attracts the best horses from around the world.

The first-ever race run at Longchamp was on Sunday, April 27, 1857 in front of a massive crowd. The Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie were present, having sailed down the Seine River on their private yacht to watch the third race. Until 1930, many Parisians came to the track down the river on steamboats and various other vessels, the trip taking around an hour to the Pont de Suresnes.
Races at Longchamp - Édouard Manet, 1867
The royal couple joined Prince Jérôme Bonaparte and his son Prince Napoleon in the Royal Enclosure alongside the Prince of Nassau, Prince Murat and the Duke of Morny, an avid racegoer. Non-aristocratic members of the upper classes were not permitted into the Royal enclosure and had to be content with watching from their barouche carriages on the lawn.

A number of prominent artists have painted horse racing scenes at Longchamp including the one seen here by Édouard Manet in 1867 and another four years later by Edgar Degas titled Race Horses at Longchamp.

Racing continued during the German occupation of France in World War II, with many German officers in the stands.

The bonus DVD on the re-release of the U2 album, The Joshua Tree features a concert from the Joshua Tree Tour filmed at Longchamp.

References

Longchamp Racecourse
  • Longchamp Racecourse at France-Galop official website (French language)
  • New York Times article "Horse Racing in France" with a focus on Longchamp Racecourse.


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