Loire Valley Online

Discover the Chateau

Chambord was never a place for living. Upkeep, and especially heating, was so difficult that the Kings of France and its different owners only came in the summer, to hunt or for large receptions.

The pillages of the Revolution and the long periods during which the chateau was abandoned help explain why there is little furniture in it today. What makes this chateau remarkable is the flamboyance of its architecture.



Inside the chateau, the size of its rooms and halls is impressive. Its fittings and decoration attest to the majesty and royalty of this marvelous palace. The wood floors, wainscotting and coffered ceilings are remarkable for their unequaled architectural and pictorial qualities.

The only parts of the chateau that are furnished are the chambers of Francois I and Louis XIV, along with one marvelous room containing toys played with by noble child of this time.

The double spiral staircase allows two people to go up or down without crossing each other; this is one of the highlights of the chateau.

It is said that it was designed by Leonardo da Vinci. It looks as though the chateau was built around this staircase.

They lived in (or owned) Chambord:

  • Francois I who had it built, and only lived there for 6 months.
  • Henri II, Francois II, Charles IX, Henri III.
  • Henri IV, Louis XIII who left the chateau in dereliction.
  • Gaston d'Orleans (who received it as a gift from Louis XIII) saved the chateau from ruin by carrying out much restoration.
  • Louis XIV, who liked to visit the chateau to hunt, and enjoy pastoral Court life.
  • Louis XV, who had his father, Stanislas Leszczynski, King of Poland, who had been stripped of his throne, live there from 1725 to 1733.
  • Marshal Maurice de Saxe from 1745 to 1750 (Louis XV gave him Chambord to reward his courage during the Battle of Fontenoy).
  • The 15th Cohort of the Legion of Honor (thanks to Napoleon I).
  • Marshal Berthier, the future prince of Wagram (gift from Napoleon).
  • Charles X in 1830.
  • Henri V, Duke of Bordeaux, future Count of Chambord.
  • Prince Elie de Bourbon-Parme (by inheritance in 1910).
    Since his descendants were of Austrian nationality, the chateau was sequestered during World War I.
  • Henri de Bourbon, Count of Paris.
  • Some statistics

    - 440 rooms in the chateau
    - 84 staircases
    - 365 fireplaces
    - 800 sculpted capitals
    - 32 meters: height of the lamp above the staircase
    - 128 meters: length of the facade
    - 156 x 117 meters: ground space covered by the building
    - 5433 hectares of woods. Visit the park.
    - 33 km of walls around the estate
    - 11 million Francs: the cost paid by the French Government to purchase Chambord.



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