The fortress of Chaumont-sur-Loire was built around the year 1000 to keep watch over the border between the counties of Blois and Anjou.   In 1465, Louis XI had the château burned and razed to the ground, but it was rebuilt just a few years later. It was owned by the Amboise family for a good 500 years, and it was Charles II d’Amboise who turned it into an ornamental château in the Renaissance style, with sculpted decoration becoming the major feature of its outer façades.  It is now one of the defining building of the Loire Valley region.