The castle of Chambord is a castle located in the commune of Chambord, in the department of Loir-et-Cher in the Center-Val de Loire region (France).
Built in the heart of the largest closed forest park in Europe (around 50 km2 surrounded by a 32 km long wall), it is the largest of the Loire Valley castles. It benefits from a pleasure garden and a hunting park classified as historical monuments. Chambord is the only royal estate still intact since its creation.
The site first hosted a feudal motte, as well as the former castle of the counts of Blois. The origin of the current castle dates back to the 16th century and to the reign of the King of France François I, who supervised its construction from 1519.
The castle and its domain have been awarded several distinctions: inscription on the world heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1981; classification since 2000 in the classification zone of the Loire Valley natural region between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire as well as in the Natura 2000 network in 2006. It is also classified on the first French list of historic monuments in 1840, has been recognized as a public industrial and commercial establishment (EPIC) since 2005 and constitutes one of the components of the network of European royal residences.
The name of Chambord - from the Gallic cambo-rito - means "passage on the curve", it is a ford in the curve of a river. This ford creates a swamp on which a bridge was built, mentioned in 1307 in the will of the Count of Blois, Hugues II de Blois-Châtillon.
The castle is located in the natural region of Sologne, on a curve of the Cosson, a small tributary of the Beuvron, itself a tributary of the Loire, about 6 km from the left bank of the Loire.
It is positioned 14 km east of Blois, 47 km southwest of Orleans and 164 km south of Paris, on the territory of the French commune of Chambord, in the district of Blois, the department of Loir-et-Cher and the Center-Val de Loire region.
Bus lines 2 and 18 of the Transports du Loir-et-Cher (TLC) public transport network serve the Chambord area from Blois train station.
The RD33 departmental road crosses the domain. Exit 16 of the A10 motorway is located 14 km north of the castle.
Chambord hosted a castle from the end of the High Middle Ages in the 10th century. It is then a fortified castle intended for the counts of Blois. Thibault VI and his widow signed charters there at the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century.
Like all the possessions of the Counts of Blois, the Château de Chambord passed from the house of Châtillon to that of the Dukes of Orleans in 1397, before being attached to the crown of France when Louis d'Orléans became Louis XII of France in 1498, the small fortified castle being already at that time a house of pleasure and hunting.
16th century, start of construction. The wish of Francis I
In 1516, François I, King of France since 1515, crowned with his victory at Marignan, decides to build a palace in his glory, on the edge of the game forest of Chambord. The king's desire is to create a new town in Romorantin, and in Chambord a large building in the Neoplatonic style. The project is nourished by the humanism of Alberti, who defined the principles of Renaissance architecture, in his treatise De re aedificatoria, inspired by the Roman architect Vitruvius. It is based on geometry, mathematical relationships and regularity.
September 6, 1519 is the birth certificate of Chambord when François Ier gives commission to François de Pontbriand, his chamberlain, to order all the expenses that would have to be made for the construction of the castle.