Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Château de Chambord


The castles in the Loire Valley are an easy day-trip out of Paris. To say that Château de Chambord is enormous just does not cover it. Consider that it has 426 rooms, 80 staircases, 282 fireplaces, a double-helix staircase, a moat, a flamboyant roof (originally designed to look like the skyline of Constantinople) all of which is surrounded by a wall 32km long. The estate is the same area as Inner Paris... Well, you get the idea. It is at least ten times larger than enormous.

During WWII, Chambord was used to store art from French museums including the Louvre. As many as 5000 crates were protected here, one of which contained the Mona Lisa. You can read much more here and here.

Built in th 16th Century as a hunting lodge, it was rarely inhabited, drafty, and bitter cold in the winter.

30 comments:

Gunn said...

Amazing!:)

Bibi said...

A bit large for me, now that I'm downsizing. I have visited Chambord and it is one of my favorite chateaux.

Shell Sherree said...

I'd be lost in there within 5 minutes {at a stretch!} I can't even imagine living there, but it's spectacular to look at. And I hear their raspberries are rather nice in liqueur form. :)

Starman said...

A beautiful place. Your "here and here" links e marche pas.

Ninny said...

That was just a hunting lodge? If you got it, flaunt it, I guess. My hunting lodge is more like Ikea...

Liz

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love the Loire Valley. This is so grand and beautiful..but imagine cleaning all those rooms!

M said...

I am so glad we ended our chateaux tour with Chambord -- if we had seen it first, I think its massive size would have eclipsed the others. Like the people in the lower left of your photo, I felt very small there. Just can't imagine actually inhabiting it.

Virginia said...

That is gorgeous and the size is mind boggling.
V

James said...

What an amazing place! I've seen this castle on tv and in photos but never in person. Castles are wonderful and so European. I love it!

I also happen have a large Castle posted on my Something Sighted blog . Castles and Cathedrals fascinate me.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Gunn -- Oui, and even more so in person.

Bibi -- Yes, too big for me also. Didn't you find the staircase fascinating?

Shell -- Ah, yes, I do love my rasberries (and blackberries) mixed in with some Champagne.

Starman -- Merci! Fixed the links.

Ninny -- I think that it was rarely used -- pity.

Brittany -- You, my dear, are wise beyond your years!

M -- It was so large and "out there" in terms of its size and grandeur, but a little sad in the emptiness and lack of warmth (people warmth).

Virginia -- When you walk into view, it looks like a whole city in just one building.

James -- I had no idea about this castle until I got there but have read much since then. I am headed over to your posting to see your castle!

Wayne said...

What a pile.

Who can afford to maintain these buildings nowadays?

Loree said...

What a huge place. I guess ti would take a couple of hours to walk all over the house.

Paris Paul said...

Reminds kinda of my apartment. Well, they both have windows anyway.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Wayne -- Who can afford? Governments and large foundations mostly although we visited a castle or two that were still family-owned and survived on tourism.

Loree -- I think it might take a couple of days!

Paul -- Kinda reminds me of a whole city! You are kinda funny.

Alexa said...

Can you say "over the top?" François sure didn't do things by halves! I'm glad places like this are still standing. If it was in NYC, they would have torn it down long ago and there's be some Trump hotel in its place. Thanks for sharing, Genie!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Alexa -- If we didn't tear it down, we would put a couple of neon signs out front, a Starbucks around the side, and in the grand hall.... a MacDonalds!

Randy said...

That is beyond amazing! I can't believe it was hunting lodge.

Sara Louise said...

That's one hell of a hunting lodge.
And that roof is crazy! Going to read more about this place now

Sab said...

Hi there - my first comment on your very nice blog, so.. welcome to me!
I'm moving more south from Arcueil to Antony, so getting closer and closer to places like these, so I'll have to revisit this amazing place - thanks for the reminder :-)

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Randy -- I think that they have difficulty calling it a hunting lodge as it is a size that would dwarf DisneyWorld!

Sara -- The history on these castles are filled with mystery, intrigue, and many exciting chapters. Sounds like a weekend trip for you and The Husband. There is even a castle with hounds so Fifty would feel right at home!

Sab -- I recognized your name from Paul's site. Well you are moving from one beautiful ville to another. You will be so very close to Orly and on the route to Loire Valley. Thank you for "following" my blog!

Paris Set Me Free said...

Hi Genie, yes, I'm moving to a cute little place with an essential RER C link to Paris at the end of the road. But I'll be making use of a relative in Orléans more and more as I'm closer now. What's you most favouritest chateau in the whole of the Loire, I wonder... Chenonceau?

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Sab -- And you will not be too far from St. Genevieve de Bois, the burial site of R. Nureyev. I have not been there yet.

My favorite château in the Loire.... would be Chenonceau for the decor, the history, the scandal, the grounds, the avenue of trees, the gardens, the moat, the maze.... (excellent guess) I need to go back after the restoration of the façade has been completed.

ParisBreakfasts said...

WOW I have not been here yet...
I bet it's still pretty darn cold too..

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

PB -- It is not too far from Ile de France and there are many castles in this area.

Kate said...

Thanks for the art history lesson. I'd enjoy staying there awhile to see what it's like rattling around in that castle.

JM said...

The amount of turrets, chimneys and what else is amazing! Great architecture.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Kate -- You would want to bring your blankets and warm socks -- I think that it is rather drafty and cold.

JM -- Many of the turrets are just for looks

Evelyn said...

Amazing.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Evelyn -- Thank you for visiting and leaving me a comment.

Greyscale Territory said...

Like a glorious, fairytale palace! Adore the fascinating detail of that turreted roofline!