The original Neuburg castle was built in the early Middle Ages by the Agilolfings noble family. This was acquired by the Wittelsbach dukes in 1247. When Count Palatine Otto Henry began his rule in Palatinate-Neuburg in 1522, he found a medieval fortified castle in his residence city of Neuburg, which, unlike similar than other royal residences was still not adjusted for the demands of a modern royal court. So from 1527 he ordered to re-design the castle into a Renaissance palace and to expand the artistic quality and condition to one of the most important palaces of the first half of the 16th Century in Germany. From 1537 an additional west wing was added which also includes the chapel. With his conversion to the Lutheran doctrine in 1541 the Palatine Chapel was decorated with excellent facilities, the antique-style Italian picture program painted in 1543 has been obtained. The chapel was decorated with famous frescoes by the Salzburg church painter Hans Bocksberger the Elder. The chapel is the oldest Protestant church in Bavaria. Because of the financial difficulties and bankruptcy of Otto Henry in 1544, the construction of the west wing took a long time.
Wolfgang, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, who succeeded his cousin Otto Henry in the Duchy of Palatinate-Neuburg, ordered in 1562 to decorate the west wing facing the courtyard with elaborate Sgraffito decorations. The Knights' Hall (the lower panel room in north building) was provided in 1575 by Hans Pihel with a coffered ceiling and wall panels from a rotating timber, both of which are original. The impressive east wing was rebuilt in 1665 by Philip William, Elector Palatine in the Baroque style and complemented with two round towers.
Today the castle houses a gallery of baroque paintings, the museum is under supervision of the Bavarian State Picture Collection.References:
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.