France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Château de Chambord, France
The largest of the Loire Valley Châteaux, Chambord provides a look at a grandiose castle and the ambitions of King François I.

Château de Chambord, France




Chambord is simply amazing. With over 400 rooms and a fireplace for each day of the year, its size is difficult to comprehend. (Unless you've been to Versailles, of course.)

Chambord is a royal palace built by François I, with architectural guidance from his friend Leonardo da Vinci. Its beautiful Renaissance architecture makes for a harmonious and stunning Château.

One of the most famous elements of the Château is the double spiral staircase, two intertwined stairs that never meet but where you can see the people on the other. The design of da Vinci, it is graceful and enigmatic and fun.

In addition, the visit to the roof terrace is unforgettable. With its many chimneys, towers, and dormers, the roof terrace offers visitors the chance to see the Château up close and enjoy wonderful views of the building and the surrounding park. It's a great place to explore and a unique experience. Imagine the members of the Court watching hunting trips, exhibitions, and military reviews from this vantage point.

The Royal Apartments are sumptuous, with many tapestries and paintings. Although the Château was not occupied for long—François I only spent a few weeks here—subsequent restorations have resulted in a beautiful collection of period pieces that create the ambience of a royal château.

The park is extensive, since the Château was built primarily as a hunting lodge. Be sure to allow time to visit the grounds and outbuildings.

Château de Chambord was the site of the world's first Sound and Light Show, in 1952. Created by Curator Paul Robert-Houdin (grandson of Magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin), the Show was a great success and Sound and Light Shows have since become an important part of tourism in France, Egypt, and elsewhere. In the summer the Château offers nightly Sound and Light Shows.

Although you probably wouldn't want to visit another Loire Chateau on the same day as Chambord, since it is so large, if you have more time in the area consider going to the nearby châteaux of Cheverny, Blois, or Beauregard.

Château de Chambord
Domaine national de Chambord
Maison des Réfractaires
41250 Chambord, France
Tel: +33 (0)2 54 50 40 00

Châteaux of the Loire

Châteaux Groupings

Sound and Light Shows

Château de Cheverny

Château de Blois

Château de Beauregard


Loire Valley




Chateau de Chambord, France

Château de Chambord.

Château de Chambord, France

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