The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.

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Founded: 1465-1510
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Debbie R (13 months ago)
If you want to enjoy a beautiful picturesque Chateau while visiting France do go see this one! The gardens were just amazing, we figured we were going to be there 2 hrs but 5 hrs later near closing time we left in awe. We visited during their International Garden Festival and it's theme this year was "Garden of thought". We enjoyed more it beautiful gardens than the interior of the castle, I guess it's because many of its rooms were turned into modern art galleries.
Oliver Whitefield (14 months ago)
What an amazing Château in a truly fabulous location overlooking the Loire River and Valley below. In addition to the Château, the stable block was also a incredible structure in its own right and gardens were just fantastic and maintained by an enthusiastic team. The valley of the mist was pretty eerie and should be visited......
Elena Stefan (15 months ago)
The grounds are beautiful, flowers, sculptures, modern art displays run throughout the area. The view of the Loire valley is stunning. The Chateau has been beautifully restored and the audio tour is one of the best I have ever seen. This was one of my favorite places we've seen on our trip.
Lucrezia Sperzani (15 months ago)
Nice castle, especially the view from the inside. However when we were there there was an exhibition on the second floor which was a little bit out of the context. The rest of the rooms were nice and well decorated although some things were super new and maybe it would have been better to choose ancient ones. The chapelle in particular was totally ruined by the exhibition that took place in the castle. I hope they will remove it.
John Duh (16 months ago)
The grounds are really well kept, there's ample parking and the castle itself is a castle as so many (not a historian here) the room contain the obligatory furniture and Armour and are well explained (in 4 languages) When we visited there was a contemporary art expo going on. This made the visit a lot more interesting and had the added bonus of opening some parts of the castle to the public which usually are closed of.
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