Longchamp Racecourse


Longchamp Racecourse

The Longchamp Racecourse ( _fr. Hippodrome de Longchamp) is a 57 hectare horse-racing facility located on the Route des Tribunes in the Bois de Boulogne at 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.

Longchamp has 17 hectares that are used for several racetracks varying from 1,000 to 4,000 meters in length with 46 different starting posts.

The highlight of racing at the facility is the annual 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. 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".

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

* [http://www.france-galop.com/fr/index.asp Longchamp Racecourse at France-Galop official website] (French language)
* [http://horseracing.about.com/od/francespain/l/aa100100c.htm New York Times article "Horse Racing in France" with a focus on Longchamp Racecourse] .


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