A couple weeks ago, we went and visited (yet another) château, this time the Château de Chambord. It is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful châteaux in the Loire Valley, and it did not disappoint.
François 1er initiated construction in 1519, but never saw it’s completion before his death in ’47. He only lived at Chambord for 72 days! Unique in it’s style, there is no symmetry in the design, and all the various towers and turrets are quite different. For me, it was absolutely stunning. I loved that the exterior wasn’t as simple as all the other châteaux we’ve seen. The towers are all so intricately carved and ornamented, and the design of the moat around the grounds provides the most amazing reflections when viewed from afar.
The central feature in the middle of the keep is the double helix staircase, with two separate spirals winding up through three floors, yet never meeting. On the second floor, the vaulted ceilings are decorated with elaborately carved panels of François’ monogram F and his emblem, the salamander. There was a beautiful photography exhibit in these halls while we were there, showing the work of Bae Bien-U from Korea. Gorgeous black and white landscape photography with a focus on trees, printed on huge glass panels. It was stunning, especially when juxtaposed with the ancient carved stone.
We had fun walking around the outer parapet walls at roof level, with beautiful views across the valley. You can walk around the entire rooftop of the central keep, it was pretty cool to see the towers so close up.
As usual I took loads of photos, just couldn’t help myself. Bear with me and all the pics! I love how the black and white brings out the texture of the stone, the depth and intricacy of the carvings. Can you imagine all the work that went into the construction of this château? Mind-blowing.
We’re off to Berlin this weekend for five days, we are so excited to get away! We haven’t been anywhere since our weekend in Brittany, so it feels like it’s high time for another trip. Hopefully the weather holds out a bit and we don’t get too cold or wet (maybe february wasn’t the best time to head so far north!), but we can’t wait to explore Berlin and all the history it has to offer.