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Chateau de Chambord

A journey through the French cultural history

Fire Walker in the Dordogne

Chateau de Chambord is a castle in the Chambord region in France. It is considered to be the largest in the Loire valley and is a perfect example of French cultural architecture. It is the second most visited castle in the country because it offers visitors magical experiences relating to French history.

Controversy surrounds the architecture of the castle with some believing it was designed by Philibert Delorme while others claim it to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The castle was initially built to serve as a hunting lodge for Francois 1 who was a famous French king.

The chateau took 28 years to construct and is now a UNESCO world heritage site and a popular tourist attraction.

Attractions

There are portraits of François 1 that date back to the 19th century in the castle that depict his physical features, including his famous big nose. Visitors are given the chance to see to see these ancient paintings and appreciate French medieval art.

Visitors to the castle are taken through the beautiful walls of the castle that were constructed in a time when they were supposed to provide protection but were richly decorated by the king.

A visit to the castle is not complete without seeing the double helix open staircase - the most popular feature of the Chateau. This is because the two stairs go up the castle's three floors without meeting. At the top of the castle, there is a structure that looks like a light house that illuminates these stairs. Many visitors to the chateau enjoy walking up and down these stairs so that they can experience first hand this amazing phenomenon.

The top part of the castle is interesting because it offers visitors spectacular views of the roof, terraces and the castle's chimneys. Visitors are treated to panoramic views of the canal and beyond to the wildlife sanctuary.

At the ground floor is the 3D room where visitors can tour the whole castle using 3D animation thus getting full knowledge of its history, architecture and construction details.

Interestingly, the castle is surrounded by a vast Natural Wildlife Sanctuary that occupies 1,000 hectares. This offers visitors a chance to have picnics, take leisure walks, take photographs of the castle or the natural scenery or watch the animals which include wild boar.

The second floor of the Chateau de Chambord is home to a hunting museum and a hunting horn school. This school has its own hunting horn players. A hunting horn in France is a horn that does not have rubber inner tubings or valves, therefore limiting the number of playable notes to sixteen. These instruments are used to provide entertaining music to visitors every Sunday.

May to December sees visitors treated to horse shows on the castle grounds. These offer visitors a chance to enjoy horseback riding around the castle grounds which is fun for the whole family.

Visits to the castle can be made by people of all different backgrounds and nationalities since there are hand-held audio devices in many languages to guide visitors throughout.

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