Monday, August 05, 2013


It's fun to get a peek every now and then of what's under all the fancy packaging that we are meant to see, to get a look at the parts of a building or a machine that we're not intended to see. In a lot of architecture, structure is apparent. It's built in as part of the external design. Think vaulted ceilings or flying buttresses in a gothic cathedral. Form follows function and all that.

That's some serious woodwork, called "la charpente" in French.

In many cases, a building's structure is hidden by ornament or other more practical and protective materials, like siding or roof coverings. I was fascinated by the heavy timber framing under the towering cupolas at the Château de Chambord. So I took a picture, naturally.


  1. Great series on Chambord; interesting and informative. We haven't visited for more than 20 years so perhaps it's time to pay a return visit!

  2. That is a lot of timber framing under the cupola, something we don't see or think about normally. I'm always impressed by the workmanship that went into these architectural beauties.

  3. Interesting that the French word for the woodwork is similar to the English word carpenter.

  4. So unusual (to me). Is that the way it would have been originally constructed or would that be more contemporary reinforcement? Either way, fascinating to see.

    1. mitch, it may be a reconstruction of the original (the wood looks to be in good shape) but I'd bet it's very close to, if not exactly, what was there before.

  5. Those timbers are probably what's holding it up.

  6. Thanks for the very informative underbelly photo of that cupola's structure! Who would have guessed?


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