This is probably the best known castle, but also the most impressive of the Loire castles. It was conceived by François I, a king who loved splendor and art, and designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo da Vinci was finally not the architect of the castle, as he died when the construction works started in 1519. Even though the castle of Chambord shows feudal features, with the central donjon surrounded by four towers, it does not recall the military architecture from the middle ages, but the refined Italian Renaissance style with sculpted fronts and wide openings. Inside, the double spiral staircase may very well be the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The castle of Chambord is set at the heart of a wooded estate that used to be known by hunters. Today, it is a lovely hiking area where hikers can follow 3 signposted paths, or the GR3 that crosses the park. Those who love atmosphere will get up early to see the castle in the morning haze and by dawn.
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