Chateau de Chambord is located in Chambord, in the Loit et Cher region of France. It is one of the most famous Chateaux in the world, and among the most distinctive ones, because of the easily recognizable French Renaissance style of architecture that is a combination of several forms from the French medieval times, and classical Italian styles. The Chateau is a much visited attraction in France. It is the largest Chateau in the Loire Valley region.
The construction for the Chateau was never completed. It was built by King Francois I, who is said to have wanted to be closer to Comtesse de Thoury, Claude Rohan, his mistress. The Comtesse (or Countess) was the wife of Julien de Clermont and was a member of a very influential family in France, and had the Chateau de Muides, her domaine, adjacent to the Chateau de Chambord. The arms of the Comtessa are seen in many carvings part of the décor of the Chateau.
The chateau functioned as a hunting lodge for the king, whose official residences were at Chateau d Amboise and the Chateau de Blois. The original designer of the castle is a subject much disputed upon, although the majority of sources seem to agree on Doenico da Cortona. The French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme is also said to have a leading hand in the designing by several authors, while some claim that Leonardo Da Vinci was the one responsible. Chateau de Chambord had considerable alterations done in the 20 yrs it took to construct the structure ( 1519 – 1547 ). The construction was overseen on site by Pierre Nepveu.
There are a total of four hundred and forty rooms at the Chateau de Chambord. The wall around the castle grounds is a whooping twenty miles long. There are eighty five stair cases in the castle. The most popular attraction here, called the highlight of the Chateaus attractions, is a grand double helix open staircase which is rumored to have been designed by none other that Leonardo da Vinci.
The chateau has many features that have elements common to castles of those times, a moat, extensive gardens, and others. It was begun as a defensive fortress, but became an exquisitely beautiful palace. The views on offer from the towers of the castle are spectacular to say the least, and you can enjoy excellent vistas of the country side that surrounds the castle, and the river.