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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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.