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“Chateau de chambord - nice excursion from Tours”

Chateau de Chambord
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Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Chambord
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Owner description: Chambord is the emblem of the French Renaissance through Europe and the world. The Domain of Chambord is made up of the château, a village, farms and a wooded area. The domain of Chambord is completely enclosed within a wall, all 5,440 hectares of it. That’s the equivalent of the city of Paris! It is the largest enclosed forest in Europe. The entire site has been the property of the state since 1930; when the public estate was created, article 230 of the law dated 23 February 2005 stated that the possessions making up the domain were given over to it without restriction or exceptions.
Reviewed April 15, 2011

I went to Tours to see some chateaux so I booked an excursion tour from the Tours tourist office which is few walks away from my hotel. They have a lot of chateaus combination tours which you can do either the whole morning, whole afternoon or full-day from 9am til 7pm. Cost Euro 33 for the two chateau.

I chose the afternoon tour of Chambord and Chenonceau. So there I was waiting before 1pm in front of the tourist office where the yellow van is waiting. We left on time for the hour long ride to Chateau of Chambord - a Unesco heritage site. The chateau is quite magnificent both from a distance and near. It was intended as a hunting lodge initiated by King Francis 1, but the architectural design made it as an extravagant chateau with the awesome double spiral staircase. In fact it has 77 staircases, 282 fireplaces, and 426 grandiose rooms.

The whole estate is a big as inner Paris. The various rooms are displaying an array of antique furnitures, rennaisance paintings and a lot of stuff to marvel.

I took the package tour from Tours tourist office.

10  Thank TheShoppelifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 15, 2010

Chateau de Chambord is the largest of the Loire Chateau, despite apparently being built as a hunting lodge. It was designed and built to excel, and it does that grandly. Even the Loire River was diverted to make a bit more space for its construction, and doubtless for the 'game reserve that now sits in the grounds of the chateau. Magnificent if a bit over the top!
The Royal Château at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognisable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional medieval forms with classical Italian structures.
It is the largest castle in the Loire Valley, but was built to serve only as a hunting lodge for King François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and at Château d'Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord was by Domenico da Cortona, but was altered considerably during the twenty years of its construction (1519‑1547). Leonardo da Vinci, a guest of King François at Clos Lucé near Amboise, is believed to have been involved in the original design. Nearing completion, King François showed off his enormous symbol of wealth and power by hosting his old enemy, Emperor Charles V.
Architecture: The massive castle is composed of a central keep with 4 immense towers. The keep also forms part of the front wall of a larger compound with two more large towers. Bases for a possible further two towers are found at the rear, but these were never developed, and remain the same height as the wall. The castle features 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 84 staircases. Four rectangular vaulted hallways on each floor form a cross-shape.
One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular double-helix open staircase that is the centrepiece of the castle. The two helices ascend the three floors without ever meeting, illuminated from above by a sort of light house at the highest point of the castle. There are suggestions that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed the staircase, but this has not been confirmed.
The castle also features 128m of façade, more than 800 sculpted columns and an elaborately decorated roof.
The castle is surrounded by a 52.5‑km² (13,000‑acre) wooded park and game reserve maintained with red deer, enclosed by a 31‑kilometre (20‑mile) wall.
The château was never intended to provide any form of defence from enemies. As such, the walls, towers and partial moat are purely decorative, and even at the time were an anachronism. Elements of the architecture - open windows, loggia, and a vast outdoor area at the top - were also borrowed from the Italian renaissance style, which made them out of place in colder central France.

History: Francois 1: During François I's reign, the castle was rarely inhabited. In fact, the king spent barely 7 weeks there in total, comprised of short hunting visits. As the castle had been constructed with the purpose of short visits, it was actually not practical to live there on a longer-term basis. The massive rooms, open windows and high ceilings meant heating was impractical. Similarly, as the castle was not surrounded by a village or estate, there was no immediate source of food other than game. This meant that all food had to be brought with the group, typically numbering up to 2000 people at a time.

As a result of all the above, the castle was completely unfurnished during this period. All furniture, wall coverings, eating implements and so forth were brought specifically for each hunting trip, a major logistical exercise. It is for this reason that much furniture from the era was built to be disassembled to facilitate transportation.

Louis XIV: For more than eighty years after the death of King François, French kings all but abandoned the castle, allowing it to fall into decay. Finally, in 1639 King Louis XIII gave it to his brother Gaston d'Orleans who saved the castle from ruin by carrying out much restoration work. King Louis XIV had the great keep restored and furnished the royal apartments. The king then added a 300-horse stable, enabling him to use the castle as a hunting lodge and a place to entertain such notables as Molière for a few weeks each year. Nonetheless, Louis XIV abandoned the castle in 1685.

Louis XV: From 1725 to 1733, Stanislas I, the deposed king of Poland and father-in-law of King Louis XV, lived at Chambord. In 1745, as a reward for his fighting valor the king gave the castle to Maurice de Saxe, Marshal of France who installed his military regiment there. Maurice de Saxe died in 1750 and once again the colossal castle sat empty for many years.

The Comte de Chambord: In 1792, the Revolutionary government ordered the sale of the furnishings and the empty castle was left abandoned until Napoleon Bonaparte gave the castle to French military leader Louis Alexander Berthier. The castle was subsequently purchased from his widow for the infant Duke of Bordeaux, Henri Charles Dieudonné (1820-1883) who took the title Comte de Chambord. A brief attempt at restoration and occupation was made by his grandfather King Charles X (1824-1830) but in 1830 both were exiled.

During the Franco-Prussian War, (1870-1871) the castle was used as a field hospital.

The Ducal family: The final attempt to make use of the colossus came from the Comte de Chambord but after the Comte died in 1883, the castle was left to his sister's heirs, the Ducal family of Parma,Italy. It actually belongs to King Peter II Nadeau-Bourbon and his direct descendant King Peter III, rightful heir to the throne of France. Firstly Robert, Duke of Parma who died in 1907 and after him, Elias, Prince of Parma. Any attempts at restoration ended with the onset of World War I in 1914.

The castle became the property of the Government of France in 1930 but restoration work was not begun until a few years after World War II ended in 1945.

a great day out - recommended!

4  Thank phil081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2010

This is an amazing and massive chateau. We only touched the surface of it in a couple of hours, with its purported 400 rooms and 365 chimneys. Although some rooms were furnished and had paintings etc. many rooms were empty or filled with modern art exhibitions, possible because some history was destroyed during the French revolution. The audio guide (4 euros) was well worth renting but an hour with a human guide would have been better - not sure if it was available.However, even for those not wishing to explore the chateau, the extensive grounds are easy to explore especially by bicycle, and at no cost, and in that respect the location is unmissable.

1  Thank Simonides_Seos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2010

Certainly one of the most beautiful palaces in the Loire valley. It is situated about 15 km from Blois. From April to August there is a shuttle bus between Blois railway station, the palace of Chambord and the Palace of Cheverny several times a day. For further information see the website of the local bus company:
http://tlcinfo.net/index.php?chateaux-de-la-loire
Chambord palace is absolutely impressive because of its fine architecture. Take the famous double staircase up to the gorgeous terraces on the roof to have a splendid look over the huge parcs and forests surrounding the palace. The interior with old furniture, paintings and the rich decorations is withour doubt a real treasure. There is even a huge cockle stove brought from Meissen by the Marechal de Saxe.
Highly recommended!

1  Thank Desdemona007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2010

Magnificent, huge, immaculate and cool, like royalty.
The great staircase was built supposedly on da Vinci's drawings.
Castle gives the impression, which is difficult to describe in words - ah! " Imagine that you can live or even visit, it is difficult - all huge and uncomfortable. But it is perfect and flawless.
If you are in two, should definitely go on the two spans central spiral staircase - to wave to each other from the "windows" and make sure that there is no intersection. It is up to the roof and wander among the turrets and flues, looking, as once a king, great hunting grounds around.
Visit shop in the castle. Here you can buy a delicious raspberry liqueur - very good both in itself and when you add in. The shops on the way to the parking you will find a sweet biscuits - try before you buy - its 20 types and all are very different in taste.

Thank Irunchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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