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From towering turrets topped off with slate to the flowing river and century-old trees, prepare to be spellbound by this Château’s bewitching allure. The Château of Chaumont-sur-Loire is an architectural delight which in part owes its beauty to Prince Amédée de Broglie and his wife. On top of carrying out extensive works embellishing the Château, they also nurtured a taste for creativity and an undeniable eccentricity! This is an ethos which is kept alive today by the Arts and Nature Centre at the Château and the famous International Garden Festival which takes place every year in the very heart of the botanical gardens.
Sitting just above the Loire and swathed in green, the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire has been capturing the hearts of the great and the good of the world since the 15th century. Known now for its International Garden Festival and its Arts and Nature Centre, it also has countless more hidden treasures to be discovered as you make your way through its apartments and reputed stables.

Tactically situated overlooking the banks of the river, Chaumont was a fortress which, from the 10th century onwards, was defended by the counts of Blois and the Amboise family who protected it over a span of 500 years. The original structure was burnt down in 1465 by King Louis XI, in retaliation to Peter I of Amboise who was suspected of plotting. A few years later, his son, Charles I of Amboise, set about its reconstruction which would be spread over three generations. The first artistic trends from Italy were already influencing the Château.

Catherine de’ Medici acquired the estate in 1550. She managed it for 10 years but she herself did not stay there often, as the neighbouring Château of Chenonceau was home to Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of her husband the King. Fate brought the latter to justice however, since upon the King’s death, Catherine forced her rival to give up Chenonceau in exchange for Chaumont-sur-Loire. Although she did not live there, Diane continued the works undertaken on the Château, and was said to be horrified by all the arcane traces left behind by Catherine. 

In 1750, Chaumont experienced a new lease of life thanks to its owner Jacques Donatien Leray, who was an American independence sympathiser. A little-known but important fact is that he welcomed Benjamin Franklin onto the grounds of Chaumont, even organising his meeting with King Louis XVI, leading to support from France in the struggle for independence in the United States. Some decades later, Napoleon demanded the exile of Germaine de Staël who went on to find refuge in Chaumont. This was a stay which did not go unnoticed, as her hosts were artists and opponents of Napoleon. 

In 1875, the Château became the property of the affluent and eccentric Marie Say, the future Mrs. Broglie. With the help of her husband, Marie transformed the house into a socialite palace, frequented by all the most influential people of the time: The Prince of Wales, Queen Isabelle II of Spain, the Shah of Persia and many more all stayed in the Château at some point. People came to meet in the sophisticated new setting at Chaumont-sur-Loire, which amongst other things boasted the most splendid stables of that time. The creation of the park was a task entrusted to Henri Duchêne, who crafted the 21 hectares into an “English-style” landscaped garden. These gardens are still renowned today. However, any assumption that Chaumont is known solely for its botanical extravagance would be instantly dispelled after a visit to both its historic and private apartments, which unveil yet more hidden wonders. 

Owned by the Centre-Val de Loire region, this exceptional heritage is complemented by contemporary art and all manner of landscaped creations. Bubbling over with creativity, the estate is also an Arts and Nature Centre. It offers a rich programme of contemporary art exhibitions which are to be found in every corner of the property, both inside the Château and in its gardens or stables. Eye-catching, funny and touching, these works of art are testimony to the artistic eloquence of the estate. They become even more magical at night, when light effects illuminate the delicate contours of the Château, uncovering yet more of its secrets!
Not to be missed

The International Garden Festival

The International Garden Festival acts as an ambassador for Chaumont-sur-Loire beyond French borders. Whether in art or landscaping, the Château advocates creativity in all its forms, from its old stones to the luscious backdrop of its ancient park.
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Hidden treasure

Extraordinary stables

Amongst the countless other splendours, the Broglie couple adorned the estate with some magnificent stables which have been kept in pristine condition.
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Unusual

Catherine de’ Medici’s astrologists

Catherine de’ Medici earned her nickname of “the Black Queen” because of her fascination with mysticism and astrology.
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News from the château
Practical information

DOMAINE DE CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE

Château of Chaumont-sur-Loire
Rue Village Neuf
41150, CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE
France
+ prices
From € 14 /  person
"Accueil Vélo"Qualité TourismeJardin remarquableLa Loire à VéloDémarche d'excellence grands sitesEscapades aux jardins500 ans RenaissanceS
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Things to see in the area
How to get there
Chaumont-sur-Loire is 20 km away from Blois, which can be reached in 1 hour 30 minutes from Paris-Austerlitz station. A regional train service stops at the Onzain Chaumont-sur-Loire station, which is just a 20-minute walk from the Estate. Tours airport is 45km away, with connections to London, Dublin, Porto, and Marseille. Between Paris and Bordeaux, the A10 motorway leads to Blois which is a mere 20-minute drive from the Estate. The A85 and A71 motorways also allow for access to the Château.

Your journey