Chambord Chateau, France


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Our final stop on our French roadtrip was Chateau du Chambord.
This massive mansion with spires and chimneys to spare is the toast of the Loire Valley. The property is surrounded by Europe's largest enclosed forest park, a massive game preserve ringed by a twenty mile long wall and full of wild boar and deer.
Then there is the chateau itself which is six times larger than your average Loire castle. It has 440 rooms and 365 fireplaces. The main portion is in the shape of a Greek cross with four towers and two wings surrounded by stables.

Each of the four floors is separated by 46 stairs resulting in soaring ceilings on every level. The main staircase has a fascinating double-helix with two spirals beginning on opposite sides that never intertwine. Two people could climb up and down on each side and never meet. Believe me, we tried it! Mind boggling.

In 1518, François I created this weekend hunting retreat that took 1,800 workmen 15 years to complete. Because hunters could see best after all the autumn leaves fell, this was a winter palace (which explains all those fireplaces!)
Fancy digs. Guests like Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the other most powerful men of the age came to Chambord.
The floral bedroom of Louis XIV's wife, Maria Theresa.
"Only" 80 of Chambord's hundreds of rooms are open to the public.

The second floor is crowned by a gorgeous coffered ceiling. This floor was a series of ballrooms that used to host post-hunt soirees.
The rooftop is a maze of spires and chimneys that decorate a hunt-viewing platform.

From a distance, the roof with its frilly forest of stone towers give the massive chateau a deceptive lightness.
Fanciest spiral staircase I've ever set foot on.
Looking towards the inner courtyard. | View out towards the grounds undergoing a MASSIVE renovation.

The rear facade of the estate.

Don't mind the scaffolding... Did I or did I not have a little meltdown when we arrived...


Our family at Chambord Chateau, France on Wednesday October 19th 2016.
Then we drove 9 hours home :) We had a wonderful time exploring France and seeing so many beautiful and unique places!

2 comments

  1. Hmmmmm I wonder why only 80 rooms are open to the public, with that many rooms, you'd think it'd be more! LOVING all the photos!! looks like a gorgeous place! And I vote, yes to a meltdown about the scaffolding ... I know I would have! :)

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  2. I actually wrote a paper about that staircase for my French civ class, and it's why I still remember how to say the incredibly useful phrase "double spiral staircase" in French (l'escalier en double colimacon)

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