Watching over the Loire from a high bluff, the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire dominates its little village. The original castle on the site was constructed in the 10th century but was razed to the ground by Louis XI in 1455. Reconstructed in the fashionable style of the day with round towers and a Renaissance courtyard, it remains largely unchanged since that time. Our France specialists have explored the chateaux of the Loire and can help plan your trip to Chaumont, or its regal rivals, taking your personal interests into account.
The present castle was built between 1468 and 1566 and surrounds three sides of a Renaissance-style courtyard. Originally, the courtyard was enclosed but the fourth side was removed in 1739 to give a better view of the river below.
Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of King Henri II, was exiled to the chateau following her lover’s death in 1559. Taking revenge on her rival, the king’s widow, Catherine de Médici, consigned Diane here in exchange for the more impressive Château de Chenonceau.
Although Chaumont isn’t the most lavishly furnished castle in the region, it is impressive nonetheless. The decor dates largely from the 19th century, though some of the rooms on the first floor are decorated in Renaissance style.
You enter through the grand salon and library, with their 16th-century Flemish tapestries, and then proceed up a spiral staircase to the guard room above the drawbridge. There is a small hexagonal chapel with vivid blue, red and gold stained glass and a council chamber with majolica floor tiles taken from a 17th-century Sicilian palace and 16th-century tapestries depicting the heavens.
Chaumont also often hosts contemporary art exhibitions, with the modern artworks contrasting dramatically with their historic surroundings.
Outside, you can visit the brick stables. They were added in the 19th century by Prince Amédée de Broglie and had electric light and running water, a luxury not afforded to even the most lavish chateaux at the time. The stables display a large collection of equestrian equipment, including several carriages.
Chaumont’s gardens are fashioned in the English landscape style with only hints of formality. They play host to the International Garden Festival, one of France's biggest garden events, from April until October each year. From hundreds of proposals submitted by landscape architects, designers and artists from around the world, 30 are chosen to create a garden based around an annually changing theme. During the summer months, you can visit the gardens by night, as well as in the day, when they and the castle are illuminated, the latter by the glow of more than 2,000 candles.
Map of Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire
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Places near Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire
- The Loire Valley 10 miles away
- Amboise 10 miles away
- Château de Chenonceau 12 miles away
- Château de Cheverny 13 miles away
- Château de Chambord 19 miles away
- Château de Villandry 33 miles away
- Château d'Azay-le-Rideau 37 miles away
- Chinon 50 miles away
- Normandy 108 miles away
- Paris 110 miles away
- Rouen 136 miles away
- Honfleur 142 miles away
- Mont Saint-Michel 149 miles away
- Bayeux 152 miles away
- Dordogne 169 miles away
- Sarlat-la-Canéda 180 miles away
- Reims 180 miles away
- Beynac-et-Cazenac 183 miles away
- La Roque-Gageac 184 miles away
- Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 185 miles away
- Saint-Émilion 191 miles away
- Bordeaux 202 miles away
- Arras 208 miles away
- Lyon 211 miles away
- Lille 235 miles away
- Annecy 259 miles away
- Rhône-Alpes 259 miles away
- Talloires 265 miles away
- Uzès 287 miles away
- Alsace 288 miles away
- Orange 290 miles away
- Colmar 290 miles away
- Chamonix 293 miles away
- Pont-du-Gard 293 miles away
- Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region 295 miles away