the chateau series: chambord

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In this edition, we take a look at

Chateau de Chambord

Chambord is on an estate of about 5440 hectares and is enclosed by a 32km wall that is 2.5 metres high.

The exterior of this chateau in itself is enough to make us say, “WOW” over and over again.IMG_2422

Especially knowing that it was intended to be “only” a hunting lodge by King Francis I. He wasn’t alive to see it completed with its 77 staircases, 282 fireplaces and 426 rooms.


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The most famous of staircases, which is believed to be the idea of Leonardo da Vinci, is the double spiral staircase that links the three floors in the centre of the keep. The two stairwells wind independently of one another and never meet, although you can see through to the other whilst on one.

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The difference between this chateau and the others is the sheer extravagance and size of it. The rooms, stairwells corridors all weave upon themselves and getting lost is only natural. It is however not as warm and welcoming as some of the others that were inhabited.

The ceilings high, the rooms cold, the hallways dark, it is not somewhere we would want to be stuck in at night time. We did say however, it would be ideal for a murder mystery night.

Anyway, adding to the rather aloof atmosphere, there is much to suggest the prestige in hunting. The walls are adorned with deer heads or art depicting hunting. It was a little overwhelming and confronting.

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And of course there is a room displaying the trophies.


A little bit of trivia to finish off the Chambord showcase: the vaulted ceilings are carved with King Francis’ F monogram with a salamander; his emblem which is a mythical animal able to live in fire.


Have you visited Chambord? 

Tell us what you think here

Chambord is located 77km north east of Tours. Extended opening hours from April to September with one admission and access to 800 hectares of parklands where you may sight a wild boar or deer.   


44 thoughts on “the chateau series: chambord

    […] Room – another ornate fireplace with the Salamander of Francois I (as previously shown in Chambord) and a Stoat for Queen Claude of […]

    badfish said:
    June 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Very cool photos, and information!! And yes, I’ve been there. I stayed in the hotel just across the street. Talk about eye candy!!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      June 29, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Isn’t it just a magnificent building to look at it? What a view to wake up to?

        badfish said:
        July 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

        I got a photo from our hotel window with breakfast in the foreground, the castle beyond…so cool. But it’s on a slide, can’t find anyone to transfer it to digital in good quality.

    worldjourneysdiscover said:
    June 3, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    love the spiral staircases. really like this one. which one do you guys live in again?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      June 4, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Yikes… none of them! Who knows who else could be “living” with us from that era?

        Gypsy Bev said:
        June 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        Now the thought of someone else from that era living with you makes it VERY exciting. I have a few of those in my old house. They are friendly.

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          June 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm

          Really?? Or are you pulling our leg?? Now this is something we want to know more about 🙂

            Gypsy Bev said:
            June 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm

            I do have some friendly ghosts that live here with me. I live way out in the country with no one else around I often wake up to the smell of cookies baking – something I never do. Then there is the guy who smokes cigarettes who passes by my computer now and then. They also turn lights on and off so sometimes I come home to a light on, which is actually comforting to me. They are here to protect me, I believe.

            wisemonkeysabroad responded:
            June 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

            Wow! That’s something we want to hear more about. How fascinating! We have about 1000 questions right about now… 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    darwinontherocks said:
    June 3, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I visited Chambord 15 years ago and I still have a great memory of this amazing staircase 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      June 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Isn’t it just magnificent? We can still remember the moment we lay our eyes on it… WOW!

        darwinontherocks said:
        June 4, 2015 at 8:39 pm

        It was a crazy idea 🙂 I love Leonardo da Vinci 🙂

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          June 4, 2015 at 8:41 pm

          A man beyond his years… did you go to Chateau du Clos Luce? Where he lived and models of his inventions?? Now that was cool 🙂

            darwinontherocks said:
            June 4, 2015 at 8:51 pm

            Yes, I went to the Clos Lucé, I was crazy about Leonardo da vinci and his work. It was incredible !

    atkokosplace said:
    June 1, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I’ve never been there. Your pictures are stunning! Cheers, Koko

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      June 1, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks Koko… we have another 5 to share… so stay tuned 🙂

        atkokosplace said:
        June 2, 2015 at 4:58 am

        Awesome! Waiting on pins and needles! 🙂 Best week to you, Koko

    the eternal traveller said:
    May 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    That spiral staircase is intriguing. It could really do your head in!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Yeah, it’s pretty unreal. We had to try running up on the different stairwells – stopping to say hello and then spitting out the top at different parts 🙂

    kayrpea61 said:
    May 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    You keep making me want to go back. Blois also has one of those ‘parallel helical staircases’ We were told it was to provide an escape route – as the baddies came up one, the goodies could escape down the other. 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Gee K… that seems like a pretty good reason to have those type of stairwells – running away from the baddies. Too bad if they came up both of them, then you’d be in trouble 😉

        kayrpea61 said:
        May 31, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        Yeah, and it also occurred to me that they only needed someone covering the exits. Sounded good at the time though. Have a good week, L&D. Ken

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          June 1, 2015 at 7:36 pm

          Well of course! But that would be too obvious, where would the fun in that be? Watch any movie and they need to be racing inside the castle and up and down stairs with swords in tow 😉

          You enjoy your week too!

    Mabel Kwong said:
    May 30, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I can see why this play can be a bit creepy at night when most of the lights are out. One can easily mistake those animals coming to life, watching you and your every move… 😉 This one looks like it has high ceilings in addition to being bigger…so maybe it’s colder inside, perhaps. You Wise Monkeys sure love going to such places that look like castles 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      OMG – that just gave us the shivers… animals watching our every move?? We were there on a stormy dark day. And inside the corridors, it was soooo cold and eerie! We were dashing through all the dark parts…
      Mabel – when we travel… we love anything historical, so we are always sure to visit castles and cathedrals and museums. But we also love nature, wildlife and landscape too. Travelling exposes us to all those elements 🙂

        Mabel Kwong said:
        May 31, 2015 at 7:48 pm

        LOL Monkeys…now only you realise the other animals might have been watching you 😉 You two love seeing pretty much everything around you. Hope you have a good week and stay warm.

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          June 1, 2015 at 7:36 pm

          Brrr…… we need to definitely stay warm! It is going to hit 6 tonight! Hope Melbourne isn’t too cold for you.

    Gypsy Bev said:
    May 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Quite the “hunting lodge”! Looks fit for a King…oh, it was built for a King!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Hehehe – can you believe that it wasn’t even LIVED in? It seems so outrageous wasteful to pour money into buildings such as these… We’re sure he had good reasons 😉

        Gypsy Bev said:
        June 1, 2015 at 3:40 am

        I have a feeling the main reason was: “Hey look, I’m the King and can build whatever I want.” I’m guessing the money could have been put to better use…just guessing.

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          June 1, 2015 at 7:35 pm

          Hahahah – yeh. you are probably right?! Especially when they have international visitors, they needed to show how powerful and wealthy they were.

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    May 30, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Yes, a great looking place! I must say it looks so much more impressive than the last one you featured :p

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Definitely! Hands down… the sheer size alone knocks the other chateau out of the stadium 🙂

    M@Home said:
    May 29, 2015 at 11:35 pm


    Diana said:
    May 29, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Fabulous! Can I make a little confession? We were either going to see this or Versailles and decided for Versailles, but when we got there, even after buying our tickets, it was at least a three hour wait to get in. We sold our tickets to some people…and went and drank some wine in the TOWN of Versailles! ha, ha, ha…I was disappointed we did not go and see this Chateau! At least I can live vicariously through you guys!!! FAB PICS and post!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      Hahahah! Don’t even feel BAD about missing Versailles! With a line up that ridiculously long, why would anyone be crazy enough to wait?! Oh hang on, we did! LOL! Maybe not three hours but probably 1.5 possibly….. Sometimes being this far from the rest of the world, we have to just accept the long waits 😉

    lovetotrav said:
    May 29, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    You are right…attractive on the outside and a tad creepy on the inside with all the heads and antler!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      So you are not interested in staying the night if you could? 😉

        lovetotrav said:
        May 31, 2015 at 10:21 pm

        I will take a pass. 🙂

        Gypsy Bev said:
        June 1, 2015 at 2:35 am

        Not sure why mounted animals would make anyone uncomfortable. They should be looked upon as trophies and treasures. I’m not a hunter, but do admire their enthusiasm.

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          June 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm

          Just seeing the heads is a little disconcerting and their eyes following you around… 😉

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