Hotel Chambellan in Dijon
Hotel Chambellan

In 1460 Henry Chambellan married his neighbour and childhood friend, Alix Berbisey. The Chambellans lived in what is now the Maison Milsand in the rue des Forges. The house next door to this on the eastern side belonged to the Berbisey family and passed through Alix to the Chambellans. In 1491 Charles VIII conferred upon Henry Chambellan "les titres de noblesse" and he was able to put his coats of arms. Finally, on 5 June 1500, Henry Chambellan realized his life's ambition and took his seat in the Chambre des Comptes. He had become one of the ruling aristocracy of Dijon. He died three years later. The date of the ennoblement of the family is probably the date also of the reconstruction of their new house now known as the Hotel Chambellan.

The doorway which confronts the visitor on entering the court -a lovely piece of Flamboyant architecture- used to carry in the niches to right and left of the central arch miniature statues of Henry Chambellan's benefactor Charles VIII and his queen, Anne de Bretagne.
The most important blocks, which front the courtyard, are set at right angles and joined by a staircase tower, and have survived more and less intact. The north block is entirely of stone and its ornaments are confined to the window surrounds with the accolade and double accolade above them. The ground-floor window still are supported by charming little twisted columns. But the main feature of the façade is the great dormer window, comprehending two storeys in a single architectural composition. These are comparatively rare.
The cage of the staircase tower, sometimes called the Escalier du Jardinier, is open for the first two storeys and twice crossed in an oblique spiral by the ascending ramp and handrail -like a double ribbon of lace. On arrival at the top of the staircase the visitor discovers the reason for the name Escalier du Jardinier -the figure of a gardener, stooping to support a basket out of which splays a sort of palm tree whose branches provide the ribs for the vault, its crown the central newel.