The Chateau de Chambord is one of the most famous as well as the largest Chateaux of the Loire Valley. The enchanting chateau is well known for its unique Renaissance style architecture which has blended the classic Renaissance structures with French medieval ones. Explore the Chambord Castle along with its beautiful gardens and ground and feel captivated looking at its grandeur and magnificence. Initially built as a hunting lodge in the early 1500s, the chateau has gone through several architectural alterations till the 19th Century.
As you stroll across the place, you find the influence of Italian architecture with unique designs, a part of which has been a brainchild of none other than the genius himself- Leonardo Da Vinci. While the design of the castle is similar to any other with corner towers, a keep, as well as a moat to defend the castle, the beauty of the castle has been enhanced by the French Renaissance architecture and numerous artworks all over.
As you take a tour, take a look at its surrounding gardens, known as the ‘Garden of France’ and then pay a visit to the stables of Maréchal de Saxe to watch the Horse and Birds of Prey show. If you are a nature and wildlife lover, you must visit the park around the chateau with a rich biodiversity.
The architecture of the Chateau De Chambord is an enigma in itself with a mystery surrounding it, owing to the absence of the archival information related to the royal construction site. What is known of it is its attractive Renaissance edifices and the fact that it has been altered considerably since 1519, when its construction had begun. The Chambord Castle has evidence of the influence of the work of Leonardo da Vinci and has elements of Italian architecture such as the double helix staircase, and double pit evacuation system with its air duct and the sealing system. The castle also has elements of Greek architecture such as the Greek cross-shaped centered design.
The enchanting Chambord Gardens, also known as the ‘Garden of France’ will mesmerize you with its royal demeanor. The gardens link the château and forest and pose a grand front for the beautiful Chambord Castle. Take a stroll across the beautiful garden which was a vegetable garden initially and was later developed in the French style from the 17th century. Feel captivated looking at the garden’s stunning architecture and get immersed in its fascinating history feeling a whiff of romance in the ambience.
The beautiful park of Chambord Castle is interesting. This park along with the grounds where the castle is today, was a part of the Boulogne forest massif. François I, in his youthful days, became passionate about hunting and when he became the king, he decided to build his castle in an immense park in the heart of the Boulogne forest massif with ideal hunting grounds nearby. Then the construction of the park started and at various periods was improved upon by various rulers to become what it is today.
The park currently has several fauna in it such as stags, wild boar, roe deer, Corsican mouflon and various species of birds. You may also be able to spot bats, newts, dragonflies and even at times Salamanders. It also has a high quantity of clay with abundant water leading to creation of ponds, swamps, and marshes. This has led to creating large bio-diversity with more that 650 naturally found plant species including 150 remarkable ones, growing more in the water and wetland areas.
While visiting Chambord Castle, you must watch the Horse and Birds of Prey show, which is held in the stables of Maréchal de Saxe. This exciting show is produced by Pégase Production, has text and direction by Taïra Boré, set design by Frédéric Sagot and original music by Patrick Morin. The six tableaux of the show have been narrated by actor, director and scriptwriter Jacques Weber. Feel excited as you watch a grand procession of the horses moving in a rhythm and feel the birds of prey brush against your shoulders. The show will take you to the court of Francis I and give you a glimpse of the bygone period.
The history of the Château de Chambord dates back to the 16th century when the young king, François I ordered its construction as a hunting lodge. He built it as a remarkable architectural achievement which he was proud of. The plan of the castle along with few of its elements were inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. This included the renowned double helix staircase. The chateau’s construction was completed under the reign of Louis XIV in the 17th century. It became a venue for holding hunting parties and festive entertainment by the royalty.
During the 18th century, the interior of the chateau was further decorated to be used by Louis XIV first to lodge his father-in-law Stanislas Leszczynski, king of Poland in exile. Later it became a reward for Maurice of Saxe for his victory in the Battle of Fontenoy (1745). In the 19th century, the château was ransacked during the French Revolution and endured neglect till Napoleon rewarded it to Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier as a token of recognition of his services.
But he passed away soon and the property found itself in the hands of the Duke of Bordeaux, grandson of King Charles X. He and his descendants maintained the property till 1930 after which the château and its park became a state property and got listed under UNESCO’s world heritage in 1981.
Open every day of the year as per the following timing:
Chateau de Chambord is open all year round. But if you visit during the Christmas holidays, you can take part in the Christmas celebrations at the castle. To enjoy visiting the chateau when Chambord is in its best weather conditions, visit between May to October.
Yes, the Chateau de Chambord tour is open currently for all visitors.
Yes, you can purchase your Chambord Castle tickets online. It is recommended that you purchase the tickets online as the visit inside the castle is only by reservation. Booking online will make it possible for you to choose your slot of date and time of visit as per availability and there will be no reason for the disappointment of not getting a ticket. Moreover, your online tickets will come with skip-the-line access and will also include discounts and deals.
Yes, you can take your pet dog on a leash inside the park. However, you will not be able to take them inside the castle enclosure, the stables or the French gardens. An exception will be made for guide dogs to help people with disabilities.
The best way to buy tickets to Chateau de Chambord is to buy them online. Not only you can enjoy prior reservations, but you can also access exciting discounts and deals online. Moreover, you can get skip-the-line access.