Châteaux of the Loire Valley – Chambord


Ok, so we’re up to Stage 5 of our Le Grand Tour of France…or should that be Étape cinq? Whatever it is, it’s also the Loire Valley – and the Loire Valley means châteaux.

The thing about the châteaux is that they are somehow too grand, too ostentatious, and too too much. If you’re not careful, château fatigue can sweep through you before you can say Chambourcin. They (“they” being experts in this type of thing) say you should do no more than two a day, and, if possible, make that two a day one of the biggies and one other. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself shuffling mindlessly with your eyes glazed over and muttering…

The other thing about the châteaux? Let’s just say that I now understood why France had a revolution – and we’ll leave it at that before my anti-elitist soapbox comes back out from it’s resting spot.



First up was the big daddy of them all – Chambord. Almost too big to fit into the camera frame, this chateau is more a statement of the splendour of the French monarchy than it is anything else.

Apparently, 25-year-old Frank the First spent just 8 weeks here in total.

Many of the rooms aren’t furnished – but then apparently they never were – at least not permanently anyway. the French court was constantly on the move and with them to the next place went all the furniture and fittings. The monarch’s entourage might number 10,000, with 20,000 horses. They didn’t just drop in – if you know what I mean.

The highlight, though, of this chateau is the double spiral staircase.

Apparently, it’s double helix design was designed by Leonard da Vinci – although that has never been confirmed. The two spirals ascend the three floors without ever meeting.

Next time… Clos Lucé, Amboise and Leonard Da Vinci

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.

12 Replies to “Châteaux of the Loire Valley – Chambord”

  1. OMG Jo! This place is stunning isn’t it? They certainly new how to build a chateau 🙂 I could see myself living there and wandering through the gardens. You keep tempting me with France so I need to visit there. My friend wanted me to celebrate her 50th running a marathon through the French vineyards where they had ‘wine’ stops instead of ‘water’ stations 🙂 Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but who knows maybe in the future? Thanks for the beautiful tour and photos. #Lovin’Life

  2. I get what you mean about sensory overload when encountering just a little too much grandeur whilst sightseeing. It is a fine balance between wanting to make the most of your time travelling while also not packing in so much that the days become tedious.

    SSG xxx

  3. I can’t believe people actually lived in places like that (and still do!) So much opulence and so decorative (but soooo damn cold in the olden days of wood fires!) Some of the castles we looked at in Europe in their early Spring nearly froze my ***** off and I was very glad to get back to a modern day warm room!

  4. HI, Jo – I completely agree with the “no more than two a day” rule when visiting tourist areas. Two castles, two churches, two pagodas….you get the idea!
    I’ve quickly become a fan of your posts and have been greatly enjoying the virtual tours!

  5. Magnificent or should I say magnifique! I have never seen a chateau of such grand scale. I’m thinking that I do need to see France at some stage. I’ve only been to Paris. I will be following your tour with interest.

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