Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 12 Château de Chambord and Château de Blois

This morning at breakfast we saw hot air balloons flying over the hotel. This one belongs to L'Occitane En Provence. This shop was born in 1976, the dream of a 23-year man that wanted to change the world, impassioned by the power of plants. It's a beautiful story and you should click on the name to watch the video and read more about these fabulous products that I have loved for a long time.

We checked out of our hotel this morning and headed to visit the astoundingly massive Château de Chambord. Located at the heart of Europe's largest enclosed wooded park, its 156 yard façade, 426 rooms, 77 staircases and 282 fireplaces make this the largest castle in the Loire Valley.

Château de Chambord

Located between the river and the wild woodlands, it is home to many boar and deer. Building of the château was begun in 1519, and was completed in 1547. Built to serve as a hunting lodge for Francis I, he only spent a total of 72 nights in the Château de Chambord in his entire lifetime.

Looking out over the lawn in the back-or is it the front?

When visiting the castle, you might find it striking to see it completely empty: it has almost always been the case throughout the centuries as furniture, decorations, and food would be brought in by 2000 people before the King's arrival, only to be taken away a few days later after his departure (even if it was only for a few days!)

One of the architectural highlights is the ornate roof which makes Château de Chambord so instantly recognizable. At a glance the roof is symmetrical, but look closer and you will see it's not-among the numerous towers, light wells and decorative features there are many variations from left to right. The Roof Terrace-inspired directly from Italy, provides a unique sight:lanterns, gables, dormer windows, 800 columns, and 365 chimneys, spires and pinnacles intermingled together, all detailed by the sculpture's chisel.

Another architectural highlight is the spectacular open double helix staircase. The two helices ascend the three floors without ever meeting, illuminated from above by a sort of lighthouse at the highest point of the château.

I took this photo looking up the middle of the helices.

During WWII, German leaders entered the Louvre to take all the masterpieces that belonged to France, but they were all gone. Some 3,690 works of art were hidden at Château de Chambered, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Aerial view of Château de Chambord-pic from internet!

This castle was the inspiration for the beautiful castle of the Beast in 1991 Disney's classical movie, Beauty and the Beast.

Now we visit Château de Blois!