The awesome and elaborately decorated roof terraces of this well known Renaissance chateau…..the largest chateau in the Loire Valley of France……Chateau de Chambord.
Chambord is known for it’s perfect and unique French architecture and the blends of traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.
When King Francois I commissioned the construction of Chambord he wanted it to look like the skyline of Constantinople. There are eleven kinds of towers on the roof terraces with three types of chimneys serving 365 fireplaces.
Chambord was built to serve partly as a hunting lodge for King Francios I but also to be near to the property where his mistress Comtesse de Thoury lived, which was adjacent.It took more than 20 years to construct (1519-1547).
Chateau de Chambord was barely inhabited, the king spent only about seven weeks in total there comprising of short hunting visits.
It was never fully completed during the time of these visits and he would bring all the furniture, wall coverings, eating implements, food etc for the group of 2000 people with him each time.
Francois died of a heart attack in 1547.
The history thereafter is quite varied and interesting. For nearly one hundred years after King Francois I death it was ignored and neglected and it fell into disrepair until a brother of King Louis XIII rescued it and carried out major restoration work.
Subsequent Kings have either used it briefly or abandoned it.
From 1745-1750 the French military regiment was even housed there for a time.
It was also used as a field hospital during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871.
In time the chateau was inherited by the Duke of Parma, Italy and the Ducal family restored it after the 2nd World War.
Interestingly, just before the outbreak of the war, in 1939, the art collections of the Louvre (including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo) and Compiegne museums were stored at Chambord.
It is now a major tourist attraction.
Photo taken on visit in May 2006.