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 Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley

Perhaps the most famous of the Loire Valley chateaux, (along with Chateau de Chenonceau), Chateau de Chambord is a vast Renaissance extravagance started by Francois I in the early 16th century as a hunting lodge ( seriously ) it contains over 400 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. All this for a residence only used for about 2 months during Francois’s reign! 

He created sumptuous hunting grounds, surrounded by an uninterrupted wall of 32km to contain his potential prey of deer and wild boar plus a stable for 1200 horses which were used for riding and hunting within the grounds. You can cycle or walk the grounds via the marked out paths but even the shorter walks can take over an hour, such is the size of the park.


Wear sensible footwear for this visit and take plenty of water. You can also ride horses or take a horse-drawn cart from the stables where, during the summer months, there is an equestrian show.



Francois I main bedroom at Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France.

Inside the chateau the main furnished rooms are the chambers of Francois I and Louis XIV plus a room dedicated to the toys of the Royals,the chateau had apparently been ransacked of many of its furnishings during the Revolution.

 Bedroom at Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley



That said you cannot fail to be impressed by the decoration, fittings and internal architectural features of even its spacious empty rooms.

Chateau de Chambord's famous double spiral staircase is said to have been influenced by Lenardo da Vinci who was a guest of Francois I at Close-Luce near the royal residence at Amboise. It is interesting to send your partner down one set and for you to take the other - and pass each other without touching!

Famous double spiral staircase in Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley

Then there is the roof - our favourite part of Chateau de Chambord.

view of the external architecture from the roof terraces at Chateau de Vhambord in the Loire Valley in France

The views of the external architecture and beyond from the roof terraces are breathtaking---why so much detail Francois?—I suppose because he could!

In the courtyard of the chateau their is an interesting external spiral staircase similar to the one in the chateau at Blois.

External spral staircase in courtyard of Chateau de Chambord

As with all popular les chateau of the Loire it is better to visit before the large tourist parties arrive or after they have gone.

 Each evening in July and August, of 10 p.m. to midnight, the chateau façade is lit up in a way that blends the building to the forest through a sound and light show.

Chateau de Chambord has recently reinstated the formal gardens on its northern facade courtesy of a generous benefactor, American philanthropist Stephen Schwarzman. The long lost gardens have been carefully recreated in the original 18th century style.

the reinstated formal gardens at Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley.


 There are toilets and gift shops inside and outside the chateau. Outside you will also find a restaurant, a newsagent and a cash dispenser.

boats for hire at Chambord

You can also hire bicycles and boats within the grounds.




Full price

13.00 €

Reduced rate

11.00 €

Paying car parks


P1 €6/day at 200mtrs or P2 €4/day

Coach/vehicle > 7m90:


External links:

Official website: https://www.chambord.org/

Chateau de Chambord on Wikipedia

Directions and time to Chambord


To get directions and time to Chambord, type in your post code or your starting point,  i.e.: 'Paris'




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"Author: Jim Craig"