One of the most beautiful and imposing structures in the entire Loire Valley is Château de Chambord, one of the pinnacles of French Renaissance architecture. It is simple to understand why Château de Chambord is regarded as one of the world’s most amazing structures and is considered to be much more than just a castle. Many people who have visited the castle have been mesmerized by it, describing it as something out of a fantasy world that you could never see in the real world.
This building was constructed with a great deal of passion, as evidenced by its grand and majestic appearance. Given its extensive area, it is safe to assume that many influential people had a hand in both its design and ongoing legacy. The exterior and interior of Château de Chambord can tame even the most cynical of hearts, and it is situated in the Loire Valley in the most ideal of locations. You can tell why it has such a promising and devoted place in the hearts of people from all over the world with just a glance.
Chateau de Chambord’s Design
Even though it was only used as a hunting retreat, Chambord was given the impressive appearance of a medieval castle. As one of the many royal residences the king used throughout his reign, the building’s immense size was intended to impress. The practical requirement of providing enough lodging for the king’s large entourage, which could number over 600 courtiers and servants, was another consideration.
Because of its distinctive and grand French Renaissance architecture, which combines French medieval forms and some classic Renaissance structures, Château de Chambord is frequently regarded as one of the most impressive castles in the entire world. Funny enough, though, it was never actually finished. Additionally, the largest château in the Loire Valley, Château de Chambord, was initially constructed as a luxurious hunting lodge for Francis I, who primarily lived at Château de Blois and Amboise.
Domenico da Cortona, an Italian architect, was primarily responsible for the stunning château’s original design. Additionally, there are rumors that the illustrious Leonardo da Vinci may have contributed to the design or at least influenced some of it. Unbelievably, Pierre Nepveu kept a close eye on all the alterations that were made to Château de Chambord during the 28 years of the castle’s construction (1519–1547). Francis didn’t hold back when it came time to display the nearly completed design of the castle and was proud to host his former rival Emperor Charles V at the magnificent mansion.
Early Chateau de Chambord History
Francis The First decided to construct Château de Chambord after winning the battle of Marignan, not only as a place to live but also as a place that would permanently display his power. Even though it was created specifically for him, he only ever spent 50 days there. Even today, there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding the design and construction of Château de Chambord. In addition, read more about what the average day is like for a French King.
Many inconsistencies in its construction story are likely to remain unsolved; it is something that has been essentially lost over time and taken to the grave, just like many important historical events. Regardless of who created the Château de Chambord (which we will discuss later), Francis Pombriant was given the order to start building it on September 6, 1519, and worked on it until the Italian War, which lasted from 1521 to 1526, interrupted his progress. This also meant that the work was significantly slowed down by the declining royalties.
In addition, some issues came up when laying the foundation for the building. The walls were just above ground level by the year 1524. Fortunately, construction quickly picked up again in September 1526, and at one point, 1,800 workers were employed to hasten the building of the château. The project had essentially cost 444,070 Livres when King Francis I passed away in 1547. The château wasn’t designed for long-term habitation; it was primarily built for short stays. Considering the size of the rooms and the fact that the windows were open, heating was also incredibly impractical.
Château de Chambord was abandoned for nearly a century after Francis I’s death in 1547 from what appeared to be a heart attack. During this time, it started to deteriorate until King Louis XII finally gave it to his brother, Gaston d’Orléans, in 1639. Gaston d’Orléans essentially saved the lovely château from total ruin by performing the desperately needed restoration work around the château. Louis XIV decorated the royal apartments and had the great keep restored.
The arrogant king expanded the château by building a 1,200-horse stable, allowing him to use it as a hunting lodge where he could host guests for a few weeks each year. This, however, was short-lived, and the château was abandoned in 1685. Stanislas Leszczynski, the overthrown king of Poland and father-in-law of King Louis XV, resided at Château de Chambord from 1725 to 1733. Maurice de Saxe, the Marshal of France, was given the château by the king in 1745 as a reward for his bravery. Once again, the magnificent château was deserted for many years after his death in 1750.
Today’s Chateau de Chambord
The stunning Château de Chambord is now a popular tourist destination where visitors can go and experience what life might have been like hundreds of years ago. For just 14,50 euros, you can explore the castle and gardens as well as some of its interior. You can also visit the magnificent museum that is entirely devoted to Comte de Chambord as well as the elegant stables.
Additionally, it is the location of one of France’s most significant tapestry collections, which contains works from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Exploring the castle’s interior and exterior is the ideal experience for everyone to enjoy and will leave a lasting impression for years to come because it has over 474 years of history. You will be affected even by the beautiful and fragrant castle gardens.
The formal French gardens and the gardens’ lovely connection to Château de Chambord add a touch of mysticism to the overall experience. They are acknowledged as some of France’s most opulent gardens, and, believe it or not, occasionally people go to the castle just to see the gardens.