Saturday, February 4, 2017

France, Loire Valley - Château de Chambord I

The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France, is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world 
because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture
which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. 
The building was constructed by King François I of France.

Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley, and it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I, 
who maintained his royal residences at the châteaux of Blois and Amboise. 
The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with some doubt, to Domenico da Cortona; 
Leonardo da Vinci may also have been involved. 

The structure, containing 440 rooms, 365 fireplace, 13 great staircases, and stables to accommodate 1200 horses, 
stands in a park surrounded by a wall of 22 miles in circumference. 

Chambord was altered considerably during the 28 years of its construction (1519–1547). 

It was relatively spared by the French revolution. 
The château was plundered and the remaining furnishings sold, but the building itself escaped destruction. 
For a long period of time the building was left abandoned, though in the 19th century some attempts were made at restoration. 

The government seized the domain of Chambord in 1915, and it officially became state property in 1930. 
The château is now open to the public.

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