Château de Chambord ~ Chambord ~ Loir-et-Cher ~ FRANCE
Canon Powershot SX40 HS
1519. A palace rises up out of the swampy lowlands of the Sologne region, on the edge of a forest filled with wild boar. François I, the young king who had garnered glory in the Battle of Marignan, ordered its construction. The Château de Chambord was not intended to be a permanent residence; François I would in fact spend only a few weeks here, leaving it empty of furniture and people after his visits. It was an architectural jewel that the king liked to show to visiting crowned heads and ambassadors as a symbol of his power. Although the Château was not completed under François I, it is one of the few buildings of that age that has survived without major modifications to its original design.
The Château of Chambord is one of the most unique constructions left to us by the Renaissance. Its architecture is a carefully balanced blend of traditional elements of Medieval French architecture and other elements borrowed from the Italian Renaissance. The massive keep, enclosed by four towers with their corbelled walkway and the rampart path are so similar to medieval fortresses. Similarly, the walls, moats and gothic look of the rooftop constructions. But the central placement of the keep, the position of the double helix staircase, the geometric lightness of the facades and their decoration, the symmetry of the buildings, how openings are included to provide a flow through the building and the presence of vaulted ceilings on the second story are the many innovative touches that make the monument unique.
With its dual inspiration, the Château was the perfect instrument to sing the praises of the king and the perfect reflection of the personality of the man who had it built – a knightly king, heir to French traditions but at the same time a modern man who was fascinated by culture and the arts, inspired by the greatest artists of his time.