In pictures: Château and gardens of Chaumont-sur-Loire in France

The château was built in the 15th century facing the Loire river, in order to benefit from what, unt

The château was built in the 15th century facing the Loire river, in order to benefit from what, until the 19th century, was one of the longest navigable arteries in France (c) photo by Eric Sander from Inspired by Nature, Flammarion 2019 - 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

View of the château farmyard (c) photo by Eric Sander from Inspired by Nature, Flammarion 2019

View of the château farmyard (c) photo by Eric Sander from Inspired by Nature, Flammarion 2019 - Credit: Archant

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.

Exterior view of the manège built by Paul-Ernest Sanson during the work in 1877
(c) photo by Eric S

Exterior view of the manège built by Paul-Ernest Sanson during the work in 1877 (c) photo by Eric Sander from Inspired by Nature, Flammarion 2019 - Credit: Archant

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.

Inspired by Nature: Château, Gardens and Art of Chaumont-sur-Loire by Chantal Colleu-Dumond. Photogr

Inspired by Nature: Château, Gardens and Art of Chaumont-sur-Loire by Chantal Colleu-Dumond. Photography by Eric Sander - Credit: Archant

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.

The landscape gardener created a harmonious ensemble extending over 42 acres and offering
visitors

The landscape gardener created a harmonious ensemble extending over 42 acres and offering visitors a perfect mix of green lawns, copses, and paths for walking (c) photo by Eric Sander from Inspired by Nature, Flammarion 2019 - Credit: Archant

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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.

domaine-chaumont.fr/en

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