Impressive in size and architectural detail, the French Renaissance Château de Chambord is the largest château not only in the Loire Valley, but in France; Its extravagant dimensions are testament to French imperial grandeur at 156 m long and up to 56 meter tall. There are 426 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 77 staircases. It took 28 years to construct (1519-1547) and was built to serve as a hunting lodge for Francis I.
One of the great Renaissance patrons, Francis commissioned the services of many celebrated French and foreign artists. One such figure was the Italian engineer and architect Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519 CE), who was involved in the preliminary design stage of Chateau de Chambord – especially the staircase which the master made several sketches of.
Built in a period when Italian Renaissance architects were introducing new ideas into French buildings, Chambord displays several innovations.
In the wake of the French Revolution in 1792, some of the furnishings were sold and timber removed. For a time the building was left abandoned, though in the 19th century some attempts were made at restoration. During the Second World War, art works from the collections of the Louvre and the Château de Compiègne were moved to the Château de Chambord for safekeeping. The château is now open to the public, receiving over 1 million visitors in 2019. Join us for a virtual tour of this amazing piece of renaissance architecture on Sunday 4th October at 6:00pm.
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