Visit Chaumont-sur-Loire in the Loire Valley

Photo of Chaumont-sur-loire

Chaumont-sur-loire tourism, attractions and sights of interest

Chaumont attractions

Chaumont is best known for the Chateau de Chaumont. The town also contains some other buildings and features of interest.

The Old Town of Chaumont presents various notable buildings of considerable importance, chief among which is the Basilica, built in the XIII century.

The transept and choir of Chaumont Cathedral were rebuilt between 1517 and 1543 and are characteristic of the Gothic style, with vaulted ceilings. Inside - particularly notable are the decorative motifs of the early Renaissance. Among the works of art, we note a ‘Deposition’ (XVI century), and several works by Jean-Baptiste Bouchardon (1667-1742); some frescoes of the sixteenth century; and numerous paintings of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Among the Chaumont museums, try to find time to visit the Museum of Art and History. One room is dedicated to Francois Alexandre Pernot (1793-1865), an artist of the nineteenth century best known for his paintings showing romantic views of the medieval monuments.

The area around Chaumont and this area of the Loire is charming and attractive, not only for landscapes but also for its cuisine based on fish and game – be sure to taste the wines produced from vineyards that produce some local excellent wines of various qualities (Cabernet and Sauvignon).

History of Chaumont, Loire Valley France

The Loire river at chaumont-sur-Loire

Chaumont-sur-Loire and its territory belonged in the Roman age to ‘Lingones’, who at the time of Tarquin, fifth king of Rome (615 ca.-578 BC), invaded northern Italy. Later, At the time of the conquest by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC), the Lingones didn’t offered any particular resistance, accepting the situation without rebellions.

Given its geographical position bordering Germany, the territory of the Lingones was, over the centuries, one of the first to be attacked by the barbarian invasions (the Normans and Hungarians). In the Early Medieval Ages, some feudal lords, as was common in times when there were constant wars, established a castle on the hill where the castle of Chaumont now stands.

The origin of the name, Chaumont, probably dates from the Latin ‘Mons Calvus’, meaning a ‘mountain devoid of vegetation’,  to indicate a land that is not very fertile. This name appears for the first time in 961, reported in a document referring to King Lothaire (941-986) as ‘Calvo Montem’ (‘Bald Mountain’). Chaumont was referred to in the Cronica Lingonense of Vignier : ‘In regressu Rex  in Montem Calvo venit’, namely: ‘On his return, the King came to Bald Mountain’.

From the tenth century until almost the end of the twelfth, Chaumont belonged to various local lords, especially the Earls of Bassigny and Boulogne, the powerful family of Hugh Capet (940-996).

Around this time the Counts of Chaumont were Hugh I (1057-1093), Geoffrey II (1100), his son Hugh II (1126), and Renier (the son of Hugh II) [1150]. From the end of the twelfth century (1187) Chaumont was ruled by the Counts of Champagne, and from 1254 it became a Municipality belonging to the Crown of France.

The most difficult period for Chaumont was during the wars of religion, when the city was disputed by the British, the Burgundians and the Bishop of Langres. After the wars of religion, during the sixteenth century, Chaumont enjoyed autonomies and privileges granted by Louis XIII (1601-1643).

Located in a strategic region, Chaumont experienced some periods of occupation by foreign (Prussian / German) armies in 1870 and 1940. Today the city is a very important tourist centre, with its castle and many cultural and natural attractions.

Map of Chaumont-sur-loire & places nearby

Castle Town village

Selected places to visit in or near Chaumont-sur-loire, Loire Valley