In pictures: Château and gardens of Chaumont-sur-Loire in France
- Credit: © Eric Sander
A new book celebrates the magnificent setting of the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire which is home to the International Garden Festival
For centuries the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire in France has been highly prized for its exquisite gardens and is a must-see destination for lovers of gardening and art.
The 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage site, on the banks of the river Loire, was once a retreat for kings and members of the nobility and was originally built to keep watch over the border between Blois and Anjou.
It was owned by the Amboise family for 500 years and it was Charles II d'Amboise who turned it into an ornamental château in the Renaissance style.
Chaumont's grounds are a relatively recent addition, with landscape architect Henri Duchêne transforming them radically between 1884 and 1888, creating an English-style stretch of ornamental parkland.
Aquired by the Centre-Val de Loire region in 2007, the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire has become a renowned centre for arts and nature with permanent installations by artists including Andy Goldsworthy, Patrick Dougherty, Vincent Barré and Patrick Blanc, as well as temporary exhibitions held throughout the year.
Since 1992, the Domaine of Chaumont-sur-Loire has also hosted the International Garden Festival which features a series of creative exhibitions devoted to landscape art. This year's festival runs until 3 November 2019 and has the theme of Gardens of Paradise. Tickets cost €18 for adults and €6 for children.
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A new book - Inspired by Nature: Château, Gardens and Art of Chaumont-sur-Loire - features 300 colour illustrations and is both a guide to the art of the garden and a homage to the château itself. It traces the history of the prestigious garden festival, alongside the Domain's breathtaking story.
Inspired by Nature: Château, Gardens and Art of Chaumont-sur-Loire, by Chantal Colleu-Dumond and photography by Eric Sander, is published by Flammarion, priced £85.