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

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User Reviews

Dr Nicholas Exadaktylos (3 years ago)
A national treasure for France this wonderful castle is out of this world. This castle has a very distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. A must see, a few hours ride from Paris can be combined with other castles in the region. Highly recommended.
Jason Webb (3 years ago)
On holiday from the states and we had a chance to head out here from Paris (high speed train and then rented a car) as we needed to be here for work for a day and so glad we got a chance to visit Chambord. Well worth the time if you can make it.
brock walsh (3 years ago)
The most impressive visit of my France vacation! If you see one thing in the French countryside, make it this chateau. So impressive, with amazing views.
Anak Kanokvichitra (3 years ago)
Great place to visit when I'm France. A lot of nice spots for a great photo. There are restaurants and souvenir shop in the area. There's a huge tourist information centre for tourists and visitors. Parking spaces are available as well. Really enjoyed visiting this place. Highly recommend visiting.
Florence Wise (3 years ago)
Autumn in the Loire Valley, so who could not visit this wonderful historic Chateau a relic of a flamboyant past. It's a must ! The chateau and grounds are wonderful, you can spend hours there, we did. Over to you, explore and enjoy.
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