Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley – Château de Chambord

Tuesday, 21 June 2011 - 03:10 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  8 minutes

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.

The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King François I in part to be near to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury, Claude Rohan, wife of Julien de Clermont, a member of a very important family of France, whose domaine, the château de Muides, was adjacent. Her arms figure in the carved decor of the château.

Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and Château d’Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with several doubts, to Domenico da Cortona. Some authors claim that the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme had a considerable role in the château’s design, and others have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed it.

Châteaux in the 16th-century departed from castle architecture; while they were off-shoots of castles, with features commonly associated with them, they did not have serious defences. Extensive gardens and water features, such as a moat, were common amongst châteaux from this period. Chambord is no exception to this pattern. The layout is reminiscent of a typical castle with a keep, corner towers, and defended by a moat. Built in Renaissance style, the internal layout is an early example of the French and Italian style of grouping rooms into self-contained suites, a departure from the medieval style of corridor rooms. The massive château is composed of a central keep with four immense bastion towers at the corners. 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 château features 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 84 staircases. Four rectangular vaulted hallways on each floor form a cross-shape.

North façade © Patrick GIRAUD Double-helix staircase © Patrick Clenet © Tim Sackton © Patrick Clenet © Manfred Heyde © Patrick Clenet Arial view © Elementerre Tiled stove made of Meißen porcelain © AlMare Aerial view © Lieven Smits
<
>
Tiled stove made of Meißen porcelain © AlMare
The château was never intended to provide any form of defence from enemies; consequently the walls, towers and partial moat are purely decorative, and even at the time were an anachronism. some elements of the architecture – open windows, loggia, and a vast outdoor area at the top – borrowed from the Italian Renaissance architecture – are less practical in cold and damp northern France.

The roofscape of Chambord contrasts with the masses of its masonry and has often been compared with the skyline of a town: it shows eleven kinds of towers and three types of chimneys, without symmetry, framed at the corners by the massive towers. The design parallels are north Italian and Leonardesque. One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular double-helix open staircase that is the centerpiece of the château. The two helixes ascend the three floors without ever meeting, illuminated from above by a sort of light house at the highest point of the château. There are suggestions that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed the staircase, but this has not been confirmed.

The château also features 128 meters of façade, more than 800 sculpted columns and an elaborately decorated roof. When François I commissioned the construction of Chambord, he wanted it to look like the skyline of Constantinople.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Château de Chambord and Wikipedia Château de Chambord. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Aachen Cathedral

Aachen Cathedral

[caption id="attachment_205384" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © CEphoto - Uwe Aranas/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Aachen Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Aachen,Germany, and the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen. One of the oldest cathedrals in Europe, it was constructed by order of the emperor Charlemagne, who was buried there in 814. From 936 to 1531, the Palatine Chapel saw the coronation of thirty-one German kings and twelve queens. The church has been the mother church of the Diocese of Aachen...

[ read more ]

Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

[caption id="attachment_233384" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Xavier Quetzalcoatl Contreras Castillo/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature in Mexico and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Consequently, the Palacio de Bellas Artes has been called the "Cathedral of Art in Mexico". The building is located on the western...

[ read more ]

Zhongnanhai in Beijing

Zhongnanhai in Beijing

[caption id="attachment_28244" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Xinhua Gate, Gate of New China © PENG, Yanan/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Zhongnanhai is an imperial garden in central Beijing, adjacent to the Forbidden City; it serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council (Central government) of the People's Republic of China. The term Zhongnanhai is closely linked with the central government and senior Communist Party officials. It is often used as a metonym for the Chinese...

[ read more ]

Venlo on river Meuse

Venlo on river Meuse

[caption id="attachment_154324" align="aligncenter" width="590"] De Parade © Joaquin Maturana Contti[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Venlo is a municipality and a city in the southeastern Netherlands, next to the German border. It is situated in the province of Limburg. In 2003 Venlo was awarded the title Greenest city of Europe by the EU. In 2012 it will host the Floriade. In 2001, the (now former) municipalities of Belfeld and Tegelen were merged into the municipality of Venlo. Tegelen was originally part of the Duchy of J...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Galicia - Monforte de Lemos

Theme Week Galicia - Monforte de Lemos

[caption id="attachment_150872" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Barfly2001[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Monforte de Lemos is a city and municipality in the province of Lugo. It covers an area of 200 km² and lies 62 km from Lugo. It has a population of 19,500. Monforte de Lemos is located in a valley between the rivers Minho and Sil. The river Cabe, a tributary of Sil, runs through the city. It is the core of the region known as Terra de Lemos and capital of the area known as Ribeira Sacra or Terras de Lemos. During the ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Kuwait - Mangaf

Theme Week Kuwait - Mangaf

[caption id="attachment_168374" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Mangaf © hospitalityonline.com[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Mangaf is a suburb of Kuwait City. It is a mix of old and new. The old is split into two areas; commercial and residential. Government housing from the 1980s formed the area with houses, while the rest was a large collection of residential tower blocks, a limited number of shops and fast-food places. There is a larger concentration of shops in the area locally known as Al Azeeziya. A concentration of mobile ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Israel - The port city of Ashdod

Theme Week Israel - The port city of Ashdod

[caption id="attachment_152008" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Port of Ashdod © Amos Meron/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ashdod is the fifth-largest city in Israel, located in the Southern District of the country, located 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Tel Aviv, 20 km (12 mi) north of Ashkelon and 53 km (33 mi) west of Jerusalem. Ashdod is an important regional industrial center. The Port of Ashdod is Israel's largest port, accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods. Blue Marina in Ashdod is one of the newest...

[ read more ]

Sandringham House on the Royal Sandringham Estate

Sandringham House on the Royal Sandringham Estate

[caption id="attachment_160581" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Sandringham House © geograph.org.uk - Elwyn Thomas Roddick[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Sandringham House is a country house on 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The house was first opened to the public in 1977, and there is a museum wit...

[ read more ]

Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles

Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles

[caption id="attachment_219156" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - KimonBerlin/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Mulholland Drive is a street and road in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. It is named after pioneering Los Angeles civil engineer William Mulholland. The western rural portion in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties is named Mulholland Highway. The road is featured in a significant number of movies, songs, and novels. David Lynch, who wrote and directed a film named after Mulho...

[ read more ]

Timmendorfer Strand on the Baltic Sea

Timmendorfer Strand on the Baltic Sea

[caption id="attachment_159845" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Ice sailing on Lake Hemmelsdorf © Jan Kuchenbecker/cc-by-sa-3.0-de[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Timmendorfer Strand (Timmendorf Beach) is a fashionable seaside resort in the district of Ostholstein, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated on the Bay of Lübeck (Baltic Sea), approximately 10 km north of Travemünde, 15 km northeast of Lübeck, and 20 km southeast of Eutin. Timmendorfer Strand has simply everything: the longest beach in Schleswig-Holstei...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Châteaux of the Loire Valley © Maximilian Dörrbecker
Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley

The Loire Valley (French: Vallée de la Loire), spanning 280 kilometres (170 mi), is located in the middle stretch of...

Sea Cloud I in Hamburg © Tvabutzku1234
The Sea Cloud I

Sea Cloud was built in Kiel, Germany as a Barque for E. F. Hutton & Co.. She was launched in...

Maltan Knights Castle in Rhodes City © Polimerek
Rhodes, the sunny island

Rhodes is a Greek island approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) southwest of Turkey in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is...

Schließen