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February 7, 2016

France: Chaumont


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Near the confluence of the Marne and Suize Rivers in the Haute-Marne department is Chaumont. The French edition of Wikipedia says that Chaumont is not a particularly old city. It was merely founded in the 10th Century.

Today’s visitors to Chaumont are likely to see the basilique Saint Jean-Baptiste, a structure that dates from the 16th Century. The church is worth seeing but it is Chaumont’s more modern railroad viaduct that compels a visit.

Le viaduc de Chaumont, 654 meters long and 52 meters high, crosses the River Suize, a tributary to the Marne. The bridge allows trains to reach the town’s center.   This impressive and photogenic sight was built in just fifteen months between 1855 and 1856. Twenty-five hundred workers labored day and night to complete the bridge. It is an effort that would impress even the Romans.

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Inside Chaumont's covered market

Inside Chaumont’s covered market

Nowadays Chaumont’s viaduct is well maintained. Visitors can walk across the river valley at the base of the structure. It is also possible to cross the Suize on the viaducts lower walkway. Le viaduc de Chaumont is worth visiting day or night as the structure and its walkway are well illuminated when the sun goes down. For a photographer, the viaduct’s leading lines and repetitive patterns are compelling. For a tourist the structure is worth a trip to see.

The viaducts lower walkway is open to the public.

The viaducts lower walkway is open to the public.

Inside basilique Saint Jean-Baptiste

Inside basilique Saint Jean-Baptiste

Le viaduc de Chaumont

Le viaduc de Chaumont

L'hôtel de ville

L’hôtel de ville

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Stained glass inside Chaumont's basilica

Stained glass inside Chaumont’s basilica

3 Comments »

  1. This is a wonderful post! I love everything about it! The history, photography, even the great tourist information. If I ever get the chance to visit Chaumont, France I will definitely make it a point to reference this post.

    Comment by kandriot1 — February 7, 2016 @ 3:50 am

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      Comment by anotherheader — February 7, 2016 @ 3:54 am

  2. Excellent. Our visit there was brief, we were desperate to get started on our very first barge cruise. My favourite is the stained glass photo, but a marvellous set of images overall.

    Comment by ianmccauley2014 — February 8, 2016 @ 8:21 pm


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