Loire Chateaux: Chambord

| October 12, 2011
loire chateaux chambord

Château de Chambord

Loire Chateaux Series: The grandeur of Chambord

Château de Chambord, one of the most recognizable of the Loire chateaux and perhaps in the world, was one of eight that Donna and I visited during our three-day stay in France’s Loire Valley. All the châteaus were worth visiting and each had its own charm and sense of purpose. If you have a rental car, you can easily do three châteaus in a single day. Our home base was in the heart of the Loire Valley near Amboise, France. In fact, we stayed in a manor house next to a nice 12-room château about 10-minutes away from the old city center of Amboise. Below is an early morning picture of our manor house at the Chateau des Ormeaux. Imagine waking up to chirping birds as the sun rises over a lush misty forest complete with hot air balloons climbing on the distant horizon. Pretty awesome!

loire chateaux place to stay

Our manor house at the Chateau des Ormeaux

When I approached the château de Chambord, my jaw hit the ground. Words cannot accurately convey the enormity of the structure. The château features 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 84 staircases. Although its exterior appears to be a mirror image from left to right, many differences can be found upon close inspection.

loire chateaux chambord roof

The incredible roofline of Chambord

According to Wikipedia, The roofscape of Chambord contrasts with the masses of its masonry and has often been compared with the skyline of a town: it shows eleven kinds of towers and three types of chimneys, without symmetry, framed at the corners by the massive towers. One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular double-helix open staircase that is the centerpiece of the château. The two helixes ascend the three floors without ever meeting, illuminated from above by a sort of light house at the highest point of the château.

loire chateaux chambord staircase

The staircase at Chambord

The grounds surrounding the château de Chambord are equally immense. Again, from Wikipedia, The château is surrounded by a 52.5‑km² (13,000‑acre) wooded park and game reserve maintained with red deer, enclosed by a 31‑kilometer (20‑mile) wall. The king’s plan to divert the Loire to surround the château came about only in a novel; Amadis of Gaul.

loire chateaux chambord

Château de Chambord black and white conversion with Nik Silver EFX

While taking these photos during the middle of the afternoon, I was blessed with big puffy clouds. Clouds like this are always a welcome sight as they create visual interest and add texture to the photograph. I like this photo in black and white as well. The variety in values and general massing of the scene’s elements allow the black and white conversion to work well. What do you think?

Other Chateaux in this series

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Category: France, Photography, Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. These shots are fantastic Lee – gorgeous looking clouds certainly help the overall aesthetics of the photos!

  2. A.Barlow says:

    Wow that place looks awesome! You did a nice job with these shots. Grats.

  3. ConservativelyBohemian says:

    Just stunningly beautiful! If I could afford a place like this, and the staff, oh what a glorious place to live! Can’t even imagine it, but those helix staircases are gorgeous!