Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire was founded around the year 1000 by the Count of Blois to protect it against the city of Anjou. A Norman knight took possession, passed it on to his niece who married into the Amboise family, and so the chateau stayed in the hands of this family for five centuries. This family was one of the first Frenchmen to commission Leonardo da Vinci.
Catherine de Medici married King Henri II and in 1550 bought the chateau. Catherine surrounded herself with astrologers, the most famous being Nostradamus. Upon her husband’s death in 1559, Catherine, who had become Ruler of France, asked her husband’s mistress Diane de Poitiers to give back the Chateau de Chenonceau (see next post) that Diane had received as a inalienable property gift from Henry II. In return, she gave Diane the Chateau de Chaumont. What an amicable but delicious way to get rid of her rival, allowing Catherine to live in the magnificent castle she desired, while Diane, although not particularly happy about being booted from the bigger and most expansive chateau, still had a most lovely estate of her own.
Before I share some views of the inside which I found surprisingly homey, comfortable and not ostentatious at all, let me show you some views of the landscape surrounding the castle including some extraordinary trees with perhaps the biggest seed pods I have ever seen.
Chateau Chaumont is decorated with Renaissance furniture and there are some pieces I wouldn’t mind having in my own home like this triple cushion seat:
I am not quite sure how someone would use what appears to be a writing seat- do you sit on it backwards?
The sitting rooms as I mentioned look quite comfy although the tapestry is a bit much for my taste:
The chapel has magnificent colored stained glass windows:
I would gladly add these crystal goblets to my glass collection:
The Catherine de Medici room was formerly a ceremonial bedroom. On the right wall is a full length painting of Catherine de Medici
More chateaus to come!