Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire Loire Valley

Written by on March 29, 2018 in Centre, Museums and Châteaux

Fairy tale like castle of Chaumont with pointy towers and a wooden draw bridge

The Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire is stunningly pretty, reminiscent of Disney’s fairy tale castle in Sleeping Beauty. Nestled on the banks of the River Loire In Loire et Cher, it is unique for its presentation of art and the international garden festival that’s held here annually.

History of the Chateau de Chaumont

The original fortress was built here 1000 years ago, but over time it was destroyed and rebuilt and given a Renaissance facelift. It was bought in 1550 by Catherine de Medici, wife of Henri II. She ceded it to her husband’s former mistress Diane de Poitiers when Henri died. Diane had previously lived in the Chateau de Chenonceau but Catherine evicted her hated rival.

Chaumont Chateau was sold and changed hands in ensuing centuries before being bought by an orphaned 17-year-old sugar heiress called Marie Say in 1875. When she married Prince Henri-Amédée de Broglie three months later, the pair restored and modernised the chateau and landscaped the gardens. They held festivals and shows and hired the Ballets de l’Opéra de Paris and the troupe of the Comedie-Francaise from Paris for entertainment. It cost a fortune, but then the young woman was one of the richest women in France. An elephant roamed the grounds, a gift from the Shah of Persia and the castle was a hive of fun and frivolity. King George V of Great Britain and royalty from around the world visited.

When her beloved Prince died, Marie re-married. At 72 years old, her new husband was only 43 and keen to help her spend her fortune. She was compelled to sell much of her art and property and ended her days in Paris staying at the Ritz and the George V hotels.

Chateau de Chaumont today

Nowadays the castle is owned by the region and is open to the public. Inside the chateau there is an annual art exhibition. Some of the rooms are furnished and homely, they make you feel that the eccentric Marie might be out in the garden picking flowers. Other rooms are full of incredible art works, ethereal and fabulous.

The gardens of Chaumont Castle

It’s a bit like Chelsea Flower Show meets Kew Gardens and utterly gorgeous. There are temporary show gardens for the festival and all year-round gardens for general visits.

The International Garden Festival takes place from April to November each year.

Practical Information

www.domaine-chaumont.fr;

uk.france.frwww.loirevalley-france.co.uk

More on Chateaux in the Loire Valley

Chateau du Rivau with its enchanting gardens
The gorgeous gardens of the Chateau de Chenonceau
Chateau de Chambord
The Chateau du Clos Lucé, last home of Leonardo da Vinci

Related Articles

Visit to the Chateau de Versailles

When Louis XIV was pondering over how to create the most magnificent palace the world had ever seen, one that truly showed off his glory and absolute power, he can’t have had any idea just how many people would tread in his footsteps and gaze in wonder at his legacy. The Chateau de Versailles is […]

Continue Reading

Mulhouse Train Museum | Cité du Train

When it comes to the Cité du train at Mulhouse, you don’t to be a train buff or train spotter, an anorak or a ferroequinologist (someone who studies trains) to get steamed up about a visit. This incredible museum is a fabulous place on so many levels. History, engineering, social history but overall – it’s […]

Continue Reading

Museums, Monuments and Arts Venues of Lille

Lille in northern France is one of the most cultural cities in the country. There are more than a dozen museums and art venues in the city and every three years or so Lille goes arty-party mad with a major several-months-long art festival known as Lille3000 in public buildings and the streets. Palais des Beaux […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Orleans, Loire Valley

Julius Caesar was here. The English were here, and because of that, Joan of Arc was here. It seems throughout history, Orleans in the Loire Valley has established its place as a principal city in France (and it was the most important city after Paris during the 10th and 11th Centuries). While today most people […]

Continue Reading

7 things to do in Tours in the Loire Valley

There’s a whole lot to see and do in Tours in the heart of the Loire Valley. It’s easy to reach from Paris by train and provides a great base to visit the area. There are several of the major Loire Valley Chateaux nearby and you can organise a tour by coach or mini bus […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top