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A castle fit for a king

Explore the Chateau de Chambord

François I spent lavishly to fund the Chateau de Chambord project. In fact, construction alone took more than a quarter of a century.

Started in 1518, work was interrupted in 1525 when the coffers of the Kingdom were completely empty, and didn’t resume until October 1526. From that date on, you could find up to 2,000 workers on the site at any given time. Having given up the totally unreasonable plan of rerouting the river Loire to bring it to the foot of his castle, François I settled for diverting one of its tributaries, the river Cosson. The castle was completed in 1547 and contains 440 rooms, 84 staircases, 365 fireplaces (one for each day of the year). It also has stables to accommodate 1,200 horses. The property is surrounded by 20 miles of walls which protect more than 13,000 acres of woods. This huge hunting reserve covers as much ground as all of Paris!

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