Friday, February 02, 2007


The Château de Chambord's southern façade.

The Château de Chambord is arguably the granddaddy of all the French châteaux. That is, if you don't count Versailles and the Louvre, the latter of which is technically a palais, anyway. It certainly is the star of the Loire Valley castles.

Roofs and chimneys surround the central lantern on the castle's rooftop. You can walk around on the terraces up there.

The short story of Chambord is that it was built as a hunting lodge by king François I. The grounds were already a royal hunting reserve when, in 1518, François ordered the existing lodge razed to make way for a building more suitable to his reign. Nineteen years later the castle was complete.

A view of the canal and the forêt de Boulogne from the castle's terrace roof.

Chambord sits in an immense park in the forêt de Boulogne, not far from the City of Blois. This hunting lodge boasts 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 83 staircases. My favorite part of the place is the huge outdoor terrace high up near the roofline. Great views !

A black & white view of the castle's terrace roof.

The place is immense and can overwhelm the first-time visitor. Most of the castle is not furnished, owing mainly to the pillaging of the place after the revolution, but certain rooms have been restored. Visitors can wander the grounds around the castle free of charge, but there is a fee to enter the building itself, and audio guides are available in many languages.


  1. Encore un endroit splendide où je ne suis jamais allée. Il va falloir que je m'y mette.

  2. Gorgeous pictures that bring back great memories of my time spent in the region.


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