Chambord,king of the valley!

It has been said that the stretch of land on both sides of the Loire river passing by several famous towns for its castles was referred to as the valley of the kings. Well Chambord is the king of the valley! Chambord is a small village with a huge castle and even bigger forest in dept Loir-et- Cher,no 41 of the Centre-Val de Loire region. This is the so call Valley of the kings not to be confused with Pays de la Loire region.

As usual , I have written plenty before but never enough when you consider the magnificent of Chambord. Therefore, here is a bit more on it with new photos. Hope you enjoy the tour.

Chambord is a dream an illusion , is a castle made for the Kings of France . Where can I begin that have not been said before! Well when I came with the family I chose the IKAR hotel part of my business trips chain Inter-Hotel, it is only 15 km from the castle at Saint Gervais La Forêt on the D956 road ; we came along the D33 road arriving on the back of the castle where the snack souvenirs store is located. For reference, their webpage is here in French: IKAR Hotel


We were spending more time in the area so we figure a one night stand will help the driving. We do this many times , usually over a weekend. The IKAR hotel is worth it. Getting early helps and we were Lucky to be practically the first ones in the castle and had it all for ourselves from 9h.

The tour began with the Church of Saint Louis on a brook just across and we walked from it. It was the property of the Maison de Bourbon Parma until 1932 when the French government purchased it. Already have a  post on it.  We then, proceeded to walk in the garden a bit and see the Stables of Maréchal de Saxe where equestrian shows are held for most part of the year but not when visited. More info in English here; Castle of Chambord on activities and entertainment

And we finally entered the castle , and the crowds began to arrive. Very difficult for me to describe this wonder of our world; my writing are not the best expression but verbal is my forte.  The original stair of François I is magnificent, but first some overall impressions. The castle was begun to be built in 1519 and it has 156 meters long by 56 meters high and 77 stairs, 282 fireplaces, and 426 rooms!!! François I only spent 72 days in Chambord and did not live to see it all completed. He died in 1547; and took his son Henri II as well as Louis XIV who are responsable for making Chambord what it looks today. Some of those who lived here apart from François I were Gaston d’Orléans (brother of Louis XIII), Louis XIV spent time here on nine times; Stanislaus Leszczynski exiled king of Poland and Louis XV father in law, Maréchal de Saxe, Duke of Bordeaux, Count of Chambord the grandson of Charles X received the castle by public subscription in 1821. Finally , the French government took control in 1930.


A very important historical event to explain the above statement of the Count of Chambord.  A wished king Henri V born Henri d’Artois also called Henri, Count of Chambord. He is first known by the name of Duke of Bordeaux, grandson of King Charles X who abdicated in his favor at the end of the French Revolution of 1830.   Henri V said he was king of France not proclaimed from August 2, to August 7 1830. In 1873, he refused an attempt to restore the monarchy offered to him by the vast majority of the deputies of the National Assembly ; because he refused to serve under the revolutionary flag of France that we know today as the tricolore but rather the royal white crown flag of France. His letter explaining his decision is in his room at Chambord. Near me in St Anne d’Auray (Morbihan 56) there is a monument to his memory where royals still meet. See post 04/18/2019. This was the last chance of a king in France, never again has happened and very unlikely in our days.

We follow in libre visit on our own, moved into the Keep and staircase right in the center. You visit the coach room with carriages built by the Count of Chambord in 1871 with saddlery by Hérmes of Paris. There is an audiovisual room with a 15 minute film with computer generated images. The first floor you see how people lived in the 16C to 19C; move on to the Chapel completed by architect Jules Hardouin Mansart, the architect of Versailles! Continue to the bedrooms of François I and then the State Apartments done by Louis XIV same as in Versailles now decorated in 18C style as per Maréchal de Saxe.




You arrive at the Queen’s apartments occupied by the two wives of Louis XIV, Maria Theresa of Austria and Madame de Maintenon. You reach the 18C apartments who hardly lived were occupied by visitors such as the exile king of Poland, and maréchal de Saxe.  Then the wonderful historical museum of the Count of Chambord that were once his bedrooms. The Count own the castle from 1821 to his death in 1883 but spent only 3 days here. The last of the Bourbon Kings heirs of France, he died in exile in Frohsdorf, Austria August 24 1883 . Many items here some belonging to his mother the Duchess of Berry.



Upper floor see the wonderful ornamental ceiling vaults with monograms of François I and his salamander. Here on the second floor you see the hunting tradition of the castle. All kinds of artifacts and Tools used for hunting in the 16C is here displayed. And you can see spectacular views from the castle terraces over the domaine property. The park is 5440 hectares or 54,4 square kms or about 21 sq miles. All surrounded by a wall of 32 kms or about 19.8 miles been the largest enclosed forest park in Europe! with a national game reserve containing many types of animals living completely free. Open to the public there are 800 hectares or about 1 sq mile!!!




And you can say the château de Chambord started out as an arts presentation place been the first show of Moliére Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme played in 1670 in front of king Louis XIV. It has more than 4500 objects of arts and furniture to show. A full children program is available ask at front office. Many activities in the property from equestrian shows such as the écuries of maréchal de Saxe, Drama shows, visites in 4X4! rides in horse wagon , boat or bike, walks with guide, concerts, and see the English garden done in 1889. A nice boutique store and restaurant on Le Café d’Orléans.

The official webpage of the Castle of Chambord in English: Castle of Chambord

The tourist office of Blois-Chambord on the castle in English: Tourist office of Blois-Chambord on the castle of Chambord

And did I say the king of the valley of the kings, Chambord, undescribable. A must to visit while in France. We had come back, and will again. We were there even during Christmas magical, and concerts awesome. Hope you enjoy the tour and do visit Chambord.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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