Chateau de Chambord (Castle of Chambord). Gorgeous pompous residence of the kings, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. These and many other descriptions suit ideally for the luxury Chambord on the Loire. This ancient residence of French monarchs is located to the east of Blois and considered the main attraction of this area.
Some art lovers believe that the castle of Chambord is inferior in its splendor only to the legendary Versailles, while others people insist that its scope and architectural originality excel Parisian apartments of the Bourbon dynasty.
According to the plans of King Francis I the Castle of Chambord had to become a symbol of might of the monarchs of France. Construction of a new palace lasted long fifteen years, thousands of builders and a lot of money were used. The king paid the most attention to the construction of defense wall of a circle 32 kilometers and a height of 2.5 meters.
Firstly the Chambord Castle was used as a hunting estate, but already in 1519 the year Francis had decided to demolish the original structure and build a palace in the Renaissance style. According to some historical documents, the author of this project was the genius Leonardo da Vinci – the brightest representative of Italian Renaissance. And after a decade and a half a beautiful royal castle had appeared instead of a sombre medieval palace.
King Francis was concerned not only about the castle, at an early stage of construction he even wanted to change the course of the river Loire to wash the lands of Chambord. True, technology of that time could not meet the requirements of the monarch, and the Loire preserved its form.
At the end of construction works (it happened only in 1685 in the time of the King Louis IV) the castle had more than four hundred rooms, three and a half hundred fireplaces, fourteen large and seventy small stairs. The “Sun King” was a great lover of hunting, so his court was a frequent visitor to the castle of Chambord. In addition, these visits of the monarch spoke on his great desire to return to the residence its initial status. Sumptuous balls and theatrical performances were regularly arranged here.
Later the owners of Chambord were many rich and famous people, among them such outstanding historical personalities like the Polish King Stanislaw Leszczynski and successful French general Maurice of Saxony. And each of them brought something personal to the castle, what corresponded the time. So, today architecture of the castle is a unique mix of styles from different eras. For example, decorations of the palace date from the Renaissance, while the silhouette of its walls has Gothic features.