Chaumont Garden Festival
This magnificent château and its park overlooking the scenic Loire is the setting for a long-running festival celebrating the very best in contemporary garden design.
Although Chaumont's castle and grounds are open year-round, the prime time to visit is between May and November, when the site hosts its world-renowned festival of contemporary garden design.
The 2014 theme is 'Body and Soul' and the vision of the garden will appaeretly "...embody the heady expression of the deadly sins – a festival of extravagance and self-restraint and a shining example of the duality of impulses and characters" (www.domaine-chaumont.fr). Around 20 gardens have been selected by the Jury from over 300 proposals. There are representatives from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Japan and 'Gardens of Light' will illuminate the surroundings allowing for visitors to explore at nighttime as well. Gastronomic treats will also be offered in the temporary restaurants set up for the duration of the Festival.
Chaumont's small but classically beautiful castle was occupied by, amongst others, Catherine de Medici (who entertained Nostradamus there), Diane de Poitiers and Madame de Staël. It has stunning interiors from various epochs and superb Belle Epoque stables boasting porcelain troughs.
The charming village of Chaumont nestles at the foot of the castle on the banks of the Loire, an ideal place for riverside walks.