Château de Chambord

Chambord, France

The royal Château de Chambord is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures.

The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King François I in part to be near to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury, Claude Rohan, wife of Julien de Clermont, a member of a very important family of France, whose domaine, the château de Muides, was adjacent. Her arms figure in the carved decor of the château.

Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and Château d'Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with several doubts, to Domenico da Cortona. Some authors claim that the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme had a considerable role in the château's design, and others have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed it.

Chambord was altered considerably during the twenty years of its construction, (1519–1547), during which it was overseen on-site by Pierre Nepveu. With the château nearing completion, François showed off his enormous symbol of wealth and power by hosting his old archnemesis, Emperor Charles V at Chambord.

The château is surrounded by a 52.5‑km² (13,000‑acre) wooded park and game reserve maintained with red deer, enclosed by a 31‑kilometer (20‑mile) wall.



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Founded: 1519-1547
Category: Castles and fortifications in France


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

William Frankson (11 months ago)
Very amazing building and grounds in a beautiful setting. The place is huge so you could spend all day there. We visited the castle and gardens. The castle was quite amazing with lots to see and learn about. Most of the castle is open to explore so there is plenty to see. The gardens were a bit disappointing however, not a lot of actual garden to see and nothing too spectacular either.
Winter Bren (11 months ago)
Truly impressive! The road leads straight to the chateau and you can see it from a distance it is so big! The double helix staircase was fun to try with a friend going up one set of stairs and me the other. You can see each other in the windows as you go up. Made that way so that you could "meet" your secret lover without anyone knowing
AndyundSarah (11 months ago)
First visit on a Saturday. Not as crowded as expected. Still enough free parking lots. We did not find an e-car charging station. If you are disabled with a cars, you can enter for free and your accompanying person as well. Even parking will be free. This is outstanding! The castle ist amazing, the gardens wide and well to access. You can rent a golf caddy or a boat. There are some local vendors on a market styled place offering their crafted foods and drinks. We did not like the current art exhibition, but tastes are different. The collection of oil paintings is superb.
Joyce Dumont (Not lost Just a wanderer) (11 months ago)
Splendid views!! Lots of stairs to climb, but it is worth the energy. Stairs were not steep. Found the decor of some of the rooms to be beautiful. Best to plan to spend the day. There are many things to do like riding bikes, renting a golf cart. Several places to eat and have a relaxing snack a stones throw from the chateau.
Lawrence Overzet (11 months ago)
Amazing castle that has been made even more impressive by adding in much more furniture and history. Expect to walk a lot! And to climb many stairs (approximately 150 from bottom to top and you may need to do it more than once) but also expect to be amazed. The central staircase is stunning. The histopads they offer for a few Euro are worth it. The grounds are fun to explore too. Best park bench award goes to this chateau!
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