Chaumont sur Loire, France

"Set on a defensible bluff behind the Loire, Chaumont-sur-Loire presents a resolutely medieval face, with its cylindrical corner turrets and sturdy drawbridge, but the interior mostly dates from the 19th century. At least two earlier fortresses occupied the site (whose name derives from Chauve Mont ‘Bald Hill’), but the main phase of construction for the present chateau began sometime around 1465 under Pierre d’Amboise. Originally a strictly defensive fortress, the castle became a short-lived residence for Catherine de M?dicis following the death of Henry II in 1560, and later passed into the hands of Diane de Poitiers (Henry II’s mistress), who was forced to swap the altogether grander surroundings of Chenonceau for Chaumont by the ruthless Catherine.

"The chateau was thoroughly renovated by Princess de Broglie, heiress to the Say sugar fortune, who bought it in 1875 (and knocked down one entire wing to provide a better view of the river). The most impressive room is the Council Chamber, with its original maiolica-tiled floor, plundered from a palace in Palermo, but the chateau’s finest architecture is arguably reserved for the Ecuries (stables), built in 1877 to house the Broglie’s horses in truly sumptuous style (the thoroughbreds all had their own personal padded stalls). A collection of vintage horsedrawn carriages is now displayed inside the stables; buzz on the gate to be let in. Chaumont’s English-style park hosts the annual Festival International des Jardins (International Garden Festival between April and October."    [Lonely Planet France, —Aug 2010]

Chateau de Chaumont (1, 2)

Main entrance

View from the garden

View from afar

A room in the chateau

Council chamber

Tapestry detail (more)

An execution

Room in chateau



Room in chateau

Spiral staircase

Tapestry detail

Courtyard (more)

Chapel in the chateau

International garden festival

International garden festival

Chaumont from the chateau (1, 2)

French colonials in India

River Beuvron

Les enfants at play!


River Beuvron

~10 mile walk

Country road

Wooded areas

Mother and daughter


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