The Chateau de Chambord is one of the most recognizable chateaux located at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher in France. It is considered as the largest chateau found in the Loire Valley. Considering that it was never completed, it may possibly be even larger than its current existence. It is considered as one of the major tourist attractions in Chambord.
Chateau De Chambord History
The Chateau de Chambord was ordered to be built by King Francois I. it was built to serve as the King’s hunting lodge as well as a residence to be near his mistress, the Comtesse de Thoury, wife of a member of an important family in France who lived in the adjacent Chateau de Muides. There is still an ongoing debate on who really designed the Chateau de Chambord as credit for its design have been attributed to Domenico de Cortona, to French Renaissance architect Philibert Delormeand even famous painter Leonardo da Vinci.
The chateau was built considerably for around 20 years from 1519 to 1547. It underwent several alterations during the time of its construction. Some of the reasons include an interruption during the Italian War, dwindling royal funds as well as challenges in laying the foundation for the structure. But once it was completed, King Francois I never spent more than a total of 7 weeks in the massive residence. It was mainly built for short stays during hunting season in the area. The massive rooms of the chateau make heating impractical for long periods.
Considering that the chateau was built in an area with no village or estate surrounding it to provide its food supply, visitors usually have no choice but to bring food with them or rely on hunting game for the food. All these factors made the chateau unsuitable as a royal residence. That is why when King Francois I died of a heart attack in 1547, the chateau was left relatively abandoned and decaying for almost a century.
Chateau De Chambord Features
The Chateau de Chambord is considered as one of the finest examples of French Renaissance architecture, which is a combination of traditional French medieval designs with that of classical Renaissance structures. Built as a chateau, the building was constructed without serious defensive features, unlike the traditional castle. But its construction is still reminiscent of a castle with a keep and corner towers which were merely decorative in nature.
The Chateau de Chambord was built with a central keep surrounded by four large bastion towers along the corners. The keep is built inside a larger compound composed of two more large towers. There are also bases where two more towers are to be built but was never ever constructed. As a testament to its massive size, the Chateau de Chambord features 440 rooms and 282 fireplaces, in addition to 84 staircases.