Last weekend we had a really nice sunny weather and we had the chance to spend it with friends in the countryside in the center of France. We were celebrating 3 birthdays so we had plenty of time to eat, drink, dance, sing and play. But, we also wanted to add a cultural activity to our weekend so we went to visit Le Chateau de Chambord. I don’t think that I have the right words to describe how beautiful this castle is. It was really magnificent. A real masterpiece.
It was Francis I of France, at the age of 25, who ordered to build the castle as a hunting lodge. The construction started circa 1518 and finished by 1547. Francis I lived there for only 72 days in his entire life.
I can’t stress enough how Château de Chambord is remarkably beautiful with its genius Renaissance style architecture. The architect of this majestuous castle is not confirmed but thought, with some doubts, to be Domenico da Cortona. An influence of Leonardo Da Vinci can be noticed especially thru the magical centrally located spiral staircase. It’s designed as a “game” so when two people use the opposite staircases of the double helix at the same time, they never cross paths but they can see each other thru window. The Castle is also embellished with the letter “F” (that refers to King Francis I), the French royal Fleur-de-lis and the Salamander that was Francis I emblematic animal.
The main part of the castle is a Greek cross-shaped center plan where you can find in the middle section what’s known to be the Donjon. The building is delimited by four corner towers and contains 440 rooms, 84 staircases, 282 fireplaces.
One very interesting fact about Château de Chambord is that it was used to protect some artwork during the WWII. This was mainly because it’s ideal location far away from any military station. Among the art collections of the Louvre and Compiègne museums that were stored at the Château de Chambord lied the famous portrait painting of the Mona Lisa and the statue of Venus de Milo.