The Wonders of Chambord Castle

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France

Visiting the Loire Valley Castles was always a major point in my bucket list - and the beautiful, intriguing architecture of Chambord Castle had definitely tickled my fancy. It’s the largest and most impressive one of the lot.

Chambord Castle

Originally built in the 16th century as a hunting lodge for King François the 1st (we definitely do not have the same definition of hunting lodge), it is still today the largest walled park in Europe with more than almost 14,000 acres, including hundreds of red deers and wild boars! To give you a better image, the whole domain is as big as… Paris!

Chambord domain

What I like about the architecture of Chambord Castle is its singularity - it has nothing to do with the romantic Chenonceau or bourgeois Amboise. The floorplans were largely influenced by Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliant ideas, which definitely shows in the symmetric, logical designs, especially when it comes to the double-spiral staircase. The two helixes ascend the three floors without ever meeting, illuminated from above by a skylight. Very clever, and ideal for a race to the top floor.

The quirks of Chambord Castle

But the best part of the castle is undoubtedly its roof and terraces. The intricate and elaborate columns, skylight and turrets, all 800 of them, decorate the roofline and create a kind of mini-city on top of the castle. You can wander around freely and admire both the unique towers and the view over the never-ending domain. I was blessed with a magical autumn day when I visited… I’ll remember the perfection of this moment for a long time.

The famous roofline of Chambord

Obviously a trip in the Loire Valley Castle is not complete without at least a day at Chambord Castle - and for all of you under 25, the entrance is totally free of charge!

Have you been to Loire Valley Castles? Are you a fan of the architecture of Chambord Castle? Or architecture in general?


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8 Responses to “The Wonders of Chambord Castle”

  1. John

    09. Dec, 2011

    Yes, visited most of the Loire Valley castles. My favourite was not a castle though, but Leonardo Da Vinci’s home at Amboise: Le Clos Lucé. Fontrevaud Abbey was also an interesting visit.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Ele

    24. May, 2012

    I have been to this castle on my Loir Valley tour. The King actually built it as a “hunting lodge” because a lovely duchess lived nearby, so he could go “hunting”* ahem ahem* often. Today a man takes out mortgage to buy a mere two room flat :-)

    I bought some lovely peach jam in a small market nearby. Did you?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      27. May, 2012

      Ohhh, so a different interpretation of hunting then? :P I did buy some amazing peach jam in Amboise, and it was so good!

      Reply to this comment
      • Ele

        27. May, 2012

        My head is like a sieve-not peach, apricot jam that was. Nonetheless, delicious!

        Reply to this comment


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