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The Château de Chaumont, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Château de Chaumont is a French castle. It was the first château at Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France. It was built by Eudes II, Count of Blois, in the 10th century with the purpose of serving as a fortress to protect the Blois from attacks.

The castle was burned to the ground in 1465 in accordance with Louis XI's orders and 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, Georges d'Amboise.

Château Chaumont was later purchased by Catherine de Medici in 1560, a year after her late husband Henry II's death. She entertained numerous astrologers there, among them Nostradamus. After a short while, she forced Diane de Poitiers, Henry II's long-term mistress, to exchange Château de Chenonceau for Château de Chaumont. Diane de Poitiers only lived there for a short while.

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. Benjamin Franklin was at some point a guest at the Castle. However, in 1789, the New French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Chateau de Chaumont.

Madame de Stael later acquired the Castle in 1810 and then Marie-Charlotte Say, heiress to the Say Sugar Fortune, acquired Chaumont in 1875. Later that year, she married the Prince of Broglie, who owned the Castle until 1938 because of his wife, when the government took over the ownership of the Castle.

Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year they host a Garden Festival from June to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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