Longchamp Racecourse is a striking flat horse racing facility located at Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France. Home to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the world’s most prestigious race, Longchamp racecourse is renowned for its various entwined racetracks and the well-known hill, which makes racing on the track challenging and exciting at the same time.
Longchamp Racecourse is used for flat racing and features numerous racetracks of various lengths with different starting posts. The venue is home to over half of the Group 1 races in France. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe draws the most prominent horses from the world over.
Besides horse racing, Longchamp Racecourse venue is also used for various events, including concerts and other events like the Solidays music festival and the Lollapalooza.
Continue reading this article to learn about the history and racecourse facilities of one of the most prestigious horse racing facilities in the world.
Longchamp Racecourse History
From 1833 till 1857, the Champ de Mars was the location for horse racing events. This changed in 1857 when the new racecourse was inaugurated at the Bois de Boulogne, and the venue was named Longchamp Racecourse. The new venue was a few minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and became the hub of horse racing in all of France in the years to come.
The first race at Longchamp took place on 12th April 1857. It was a remarkable historical moment as many notables, along with Napoleon III, the reigning Monarch and his wife, attended the event amidst the massive crowd on the racecourse to witness the race.
The emperor and his spouse had cruised across the Seine River on a private yacht for the races. The practice of crossing the river to get to the racecourse on various vessels continued till the 1930s. The trip to the Suresnes bridge would take an hour. While the royalty would sit in the Imperial Arena, the non-aristocrats would watch from their open carriages on the venue’s lawn.
Over the years, the racecourse continued to host many racing events and did not stop during World War II, when Germany occupied France. Many German officers would come to attend the racing events.
The racecourse also holds a bit of history in the form of artwork from some of the most renowned artists in history, including the Longchamp racing scenes captured by Edouard Manet in 1867 and racehorses drawn by Edgar Degas in 1871.
The Longchamp venue has been known to host events, including the Rolling stones concert as a part of their Voodoo Lounge Tour and later the Sixty tour in July 2022.
Longchamp Racecourse facilities
The racecourse is spread over an area of around 56 hectares with a capacity of 50,000. The facility has four racetracks that vary in length from 1,000m to 4,000m. There is a bigger track, a medium-sized and one small-sized track, while the fourth one is a 1,000m straight track. The course itself is 2,750m, while there are 46 starting points throughout the length of the tracks.
The track has a unique shape and entails the famous hill, which descends as the track turns, followed by a faux straight leading to the home. The runners and jockeys with racing experience on the track have the edge over the others who may find Longchamp Racecourse quite challenging.
The Longchamp grandstand was renovated and incorporated with modern features to increase the seating capacity to 10,000 with viewing boxes and suites. The grandstand offers a 180-degree unhindered view of the racecourse. Moreover, the parade ring’s size was increased, allowing the spectators and punters to view the horses before the race begins.
The facility comprises 500 television screens which ensure that the spectators do not miss even a second of the racing action on the venue. There are around 150 betting locations on the racecourse. Moreover, Longchamp Racecourse also features 126 horse stables.
Where are the 1,000m races held at the Longchamp Racecourse?
The 1,000m races take place in the middle of the course at Longchamp and not in front of the crowds.
What racing events are held at the Longchamp Racecourse?
Longchamp Racecourse is home to more than half of the Group 1 races in France. Some of the most renowned events besides the de Triomphe that takes place in October; include the Grand Prix de Paris, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, the Prix de’l Opera and the Prix Royal Oak among others.
How far is Longchamp Racecourse from Paris?
Longchamp Racecourse is located 5kms away from central Paris. The bus service from Paris (RATP) departs from Porte Maillot quite frequently during the day.