The National Domain of Chambord !

Ok so this is a new post with older pictures but needed to have in my blog the memories of enjoying the park of Chambord. Yes, I have several posts on the castle of Chambord but not enough or none on the estate which is huge. Will take more than a day to see it all me think, we just saw a bit of it and its beautiful.  Therefore, let me do credit to the park of the National Domain of Chambord!

For reference, the Domaine National de Chambord is a wonderful huge castle/park in the Loire region Centre-Val de Loire. Department Loire-et-Cher no. 41. It is only 14 km from Blois, 47 km from Orleans, and 164 km from Paris (about 101 miles). It is 381 km (about 236 miles) from my house.

A bit of history I like

The forest massif of Boulogne on which is located the national domain of Chambord was property of the counts of Blois in the Middle Ages, then Royal domain from 1498. In 1519, king François Ier acquired the agricultural lands adjoining the forest massif of Boulogne to the north of the Cosson, to constitute the park. More than 2,500 ha of agricultural land will thus be annexed. This area consisted mainly of cultivated land, a few groves, and, probably, moors which fed the sheep of the surrounding peasants. In 1645, Gaston d´Orléans (son of king Henri IV and brother of king Louis XIII) increased the area of the estate and completed the construction of its surrounding wall. The surface of the national domain of Chambord then reached its current surface: 5,433 ha.  The National Domain of Chambord also includes several ponds such as Halay, Fontaine, Baquetière, Grande-Brèche, Montrieux, Neuf, Faisanderie, Périou, Thibaudière and Bonshommes. The Cosson river, a tributary of the Beuvron, crosses the territory of the domain from east to west.

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The surrounding wall of the national domaine of Chambord begun around 1542, is 32 km long. The construction work was long and yet it does not seem to have been interrupted after the death of Francis I as there are invoices from 1556 attesting that Henry II, his son, ordered the residents to continue the work in his absence. This wall of 2.50 meters of average height rests on foundations 70 cm deep. It is made up of small dry stones of limestone from Beauce. The gates created in the perimeter wall were lined with gates which remained in principle closed at night until the beginning of the 20C.They had lots of break-ins! They were then replaced by game grids placed on the roadway which both allow vehicle traffic and prevent the passage of animals.

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The history of hunting and else runs deep here and still very much practice in France with modern regulations. King François Ier hunt with hounds at his time. However, the French revolution of 1789 democratised this type of hunting. The creation of the national hunting and wildlife reserve in 1947 put an end to this mode of hunting in Chambord. Indeed, a population of deer and hinds grows about 30% per year. From 600 animals before birth, we can therefore take 200 individuals without endangering the species. The capture of live deer in the forest of Chambord began in the 19C and took off in the 1950s. The very sustained demand for animals for other sites has led to the capture since 1950 of nearly 100 deer and hinds per year. Chambord has now become the only French, and even European, site specializing in recovering wild deer. The management of the wooded areas of the park is currently carried out by agents from the National Forestry Office (ONF) , and the National Hunting and Wildlife Office (ONCFS) made available to the estate. A third of the forest area of the national domain of Chambord is covered with coniferous trees. In these plots, on average, thinning or stand regeneration is carried out every ten years, if it is mature. Between 12,000 and 15,000 m3 of wood are exploited per year. In 1969, the national domain of Chambord was one of the first French sites to install observatories in the forest. There are eleven observatories in the part of the grounds open to the public, five of which can accommodate fifty people, and six have a capacity of three to four people. These elevated platforms allow the observer to spot , if lucky ; a wild animal, without it being locked up, like in a zoo.

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A selection of products made according to the rules of the art from the natural resources of the domain is already offered for sale under the brand “Château de Chambord” in the castle boutique, (which is always great to buy), in a space identified as such. Honey, game terrines, wooden objects from the Chambord forest, deer antlers (key ring, walking stick, etc.) are currently marketed. From 2019, date of the 500th anniversary of the start of the construction of the castle, the wine was produced on the estate, and therefore the first vintage of wine from the Château de Chambord reach 50,000 bottles. The Sologne ewe is considered to be one of the current breeds closest to the old types of French sheep. In the 15C, its breeding was very important in the region. The rebirth and establishment of the Royal Court in the Loire Valley fostered the prosperity of the wool trade and sheep farming. Following the objective of restoring the domain to its agricultural vocation, 50 ewe lambs (six months old) and a ram arrived to form the basic herd to reach a goal of 200 ewes in 2026, divided into four herds, led in organic breeding!

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Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your trip here are

The official Nature 2000 ecolo park system on Chambordhttp://www.natura2000.fr/node/64038

The official Domaine National de Chambord webpage on the park in English (most above comes from here) :https://www.chambord.org/en/history/the-park-of-chambord/

The Blois-Chambord tourist office on the castle: https://www.bloischambord.co.uk/explore/the-chateaux/the-chateau-de-chambord

The dept 41 Loir-et-Cher tourist office on Chambord castle: https://www.val-de-loire-41.com/les-4-destinations/la-vallee-de-la-loire/le-chateau-de-chambord/

There you go folks now I feel better to have covered the castle and park domain in my blog. A wonderful site to be seen, a must! The description of others made my comments humble of the beauty of this place; we really enjoy this family trip and of course; loaded up on local products of the Château de Chambord. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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2 Comments to “The National Domain of Chambord !”

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