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Chambord Castle: Italian style in the center of France

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Chambord Castle: Italian style in the center of France


The excellent preservation of architectural monuments attracts many tourists from all over the world to France. An example of a careful attitude to the historical heritage is the Loire Valley and its tributaries, which are decorated with castles and palaces, most of which can be safely attributed to the masterpieces of world architecture. Such is the castle of Chambord, comparable to Versailles and Fonteblo in a harmonious combination of medieval solidity and airiness of designs in the style of the Italian Renaissance. This is not surprising, because Leonardo da Vinci and the “Sun King” Louis XIV had a hand in its creation.

Construction history

The place under the future Chambord castle was chosen and bought at the end of the 15th century by the Duke of Orleans, who later became King Louis XII, but the erection itself began only during the reign of Francis I. It was this monarch who largely influenced the appearance of the palace and park ensemble, since During the many wars in Italy that he waged, he was able to see and appreciate the creations of the great architects of the Roman Empire. Da Vinci was invited to France, who managed to draw a plan of the future palace, but did not live to see the start of construction.

Milestones in the history of the castle

  • 1392 - purchase of land from the Count of Blois
  • 1498 - the territory departs to the French Crown
  • 1519 - clearing of the forest and the beginning of construction work
  • 1538 - the main building is completed
  • 1541 - two-story royal apartments and part of the outbuildings were erected
  • 1557 - the project is almost completed
  • 1670 - at the invitation of Louis XIV, Moliere gives the first performance of the play "Tradesman in the Nobility" in the walls of the palace
  • 1684 - redevelopment and decoration begins, the castle takes on its magnificent appearance
  • 1725 - 1733 - Chambord is occupied by the disgraced Polish king Stanislav Leshchinsky
  • 1745 - 1750 - the chief marshal of France, Maurice of Saxony, houses troops in the palace
  • 1792 - 1929 - the castle often changes owners
  • 1930 - the Chambord castle is bought from the widow of the last owner, Elia Bourbon-Parma, on public donations, and it passes under the jurisdiction of the state
  • 1947 - the beginning of reconstruction and the transformation of Chambord into an object of tourist interest
  • 1981 - inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List.

A few facts:

  • Almost 2,000 workers were involved in the construction of the castle.
  • Over 200 tons of stone left on the main body.
  • Piles were driven under the foundation to a depth of 12 m.
  • On each block of sandstone used in the construction, the masons put a special brand, visible to this day.
  • The castle has 426 chambers and premises for various purposes, 77 flights of stairs, about 300 fireplaces, 365 different turrets and superstructures on the roofs.

Symbols of the castle

Chambord was often mentioned in the memoirs of many historical figures. The reason for this was not only the abundance of crowned owners and the intrigues associated with them, but also the fullness of the structure with secret signs and symbols. On the plan, Chambord Palace is a symmetrical cross, where the living area is located strictly between the royal apartments and the chapel - between the power of the momentary and the highest. Each of the floors of the central dungeon has the same number of square and round rooms, symbolizing the balance between the strictness of laws and the liberty of the arts. The arrangement of the central staircase is such that simultaneously descending and ascending it may not meet at all. Some of the royal monograms engraved on the stairs are turned upside down so that you can read and see the power of their owners from heaven.

There was a secret meaning even in the arrangement of the park and the common courtyard: the choice of trees in favor of ship pines and other mighty breeds was to mean the strength of the people of France, and the wall around the castle, the longest at that time in the country, was the reliability of protection.

The object belongs to castles.

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