Chateau tour Stop 4: Chambord
Chambord Travel Blog› entry 7 of 19 › view all entries
Chateau de Chambord is the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, the most visited and the most pictured in travel books. We've all seen pictures of this Chateau - in spring, autumn, winter and summer, during sunlight, dawn and dusk. We've seen the lake, the various angles of the chateau and the interiors. As I said, this chateau's been whored out for the travel books. And rightly so as well...
This Chateau was built around the early 16th Century with about 2000 workers. This epitomises the very concept of French Renaissance as is seen right from the walkup to the main entry - it's not just huge. It's intricate. So architecturally well done. As I was walking up the side to the front, I was confused - exactly where do I start taking pictures, and how many do I take?! It's stunning.
Wait! Go inside and it gets better - the chateau has 4 towers, a three storey keep that the ladies of the manor would use as a viewing gallery, and a corkscrew staircase (double helix) where people ascending and descending at the same time don't cross each other. There were rumours that Leo Da Vinci did the staircase although it's not been confirmed. Everything has been so intricately done with its 2000+ rooms that it's easy to get lost here. I was amazed at the size.
But...but... but... there is the saying about "too much of a good thing". Or in this case, what we call an overkill. The place lives up to its name as one of the most visited chateaus and was crowded with visitors. I know Villandry draws more, but this one was just buzzing with people - which - in that heat was a bit annoying.
The outside portions were brilliant though - one stands close to the towers to see how intricately they're designed, the love and the labour, it's all too apparent. But as I said earlier, the crowd and general meandering of traffic killed the moment. The Jap couple helped me get some good photos, so I'm not complaining there!
We were asked to go back to the carpark by 5pm and we left by 530pm. The chateau is huge! On the way out, you get to see the park adjoining the chateau, it's really really huge. Almost reminded me of Bleinheim Palace in the UK, in terms of park size.
En route back to Tours, they point out various other chateaus to us, but by this time, I was really bored and, shall we say both sunshine-d out, as well as chateau-ed out. I really couldn't care less, infact I slept on the way back. We reached Tours around 6pm, bid our goodbyes and I had the rest of the evening to wander around Tours, my last night here.