The Loire Valley is home to some of the most romantic and beautiful chateaus in France
CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD
Château of Chambord (at top of post) is one of the more spectacular chateaus, decorated with massive ornate structures and spires. Though not originally on our itinerary we jumped at the offer our guide made to take a quick detour.
We arrived at this chateau on a misty and foggy morning, adding to the fairy tale like quality of this impressive structure. The chateau was the brainchild of the extravagant Francois I, beginning as a hunting lodge. In 1519 the original building was razed and the construction of Chambord commenced. Leonardo da Vinci helped to design the magnificent central spiral staircase and by 1537 the keep of over 400 rooms was completed by the work of 1800 men and two master masons. I wish I had a more powerful camera at the time to zoom in on the 300 multi-fashioned chimneys. Here is a bit of their intricate majesty, taken from the internet:
Although we didn’t have the time for an internal tour I learned through subsequent research that this chateau was given the impressive appearance of a medieval castle just for show as there was no need for any military defence. The sheer scale of the building was designed to impress as one of the many royal residences of the king . .
I want to show you, from the internet some photos of an innovative double helix internal staircase inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. It was nicknamed the “DNA staircase:”
The double spiral staircase rises through the centre of the chateau to a glass ceiling and an entrance to a roof pavilion. The stairs each have a 360-degree turn between every floor level.
Back to my external photos – as I mentioned, the day was quite misty but I like the effect it gave my photos – ethereal, whispery, holding many secrets:
Though I didn’t have a chance to visit the interior of Chateau Chambord, there were other chateaus where I was able to see the full view inside and out – coming up!.