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Chambord Chateau is the largest and most dramatic of the numerous chateaus in France's Loire Valley. It has 440 rooms and hundreds of fireplaces and chimneys (some are visible in the photo).
The building costs nearly bankrupted King Francis I.
Despite its size and many construction elements, the French Renaissance style Chateau Chambord retains architectural harmony.
The main interior attraction is the twin, spiraling staircases, which are intertwined, double-helix style. People ascending do not encounter those descending.
Why it was built
King Francis I built Chateau Chambord in the Sixteenth century to serve three concurrent purposes:
He wanted to impress his subjects and visiting foreign dignitaries - and was quite successful in doing it.
Chateau Chambord fell into disrepair through neglect and lack of funds for much of the 17th and 18th centuries - and was ransacked of its furnishings during the French Revolution
Gradually, the French restored site. Today it is in fine condition for a nearly 500-year-old building.
Location in France