Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Chateau du Chambord - Chambord
This is one huge castle, even more impressive because it stands alone in a vast grassy field that ends in a moat around the walls.
It was begun by the French king Francis I when he was 25 years old, and originally intended as a hunting lodge. However, the design was altered considerably during the twenty years of its construction, and clearly, a desire to make it imposing and impressive overtook any sporting function.
The coolest thing about this chateau is a double helix spiral staircase that's in the very center of the keep. It's in the Italian Renaissance style and there is a theory that it was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. The inside of the chateau has 440 rooms and 282 fireplaces. Needless to say, we only saw a fraction.
I also loved the rooftop terraces that give spectacular views of the castle and the surrounding forests.