After our visit to the Chateau Cheverny, we had a very pleasant lunch in a little cafe. We decided to try their buffet of entrees (which refers to appetizers, not the main course). This gave us a chance to try a few different pates, a seafood terrine and vegetable terrine, cold meats, vegetables, snails, crevettes (shrimp) and of course, bread.
After lunch, we rode our bicycles over to another Chateau called Chambord. We did not go into this chateau, we just rode over to see it from the outside and take some pictures. This worked out great because it was a holiday in France - May Day - and there was a big flea market going on outside the chateau. So this gave us a chance to browse around a French flea market as well as seeing the massive Chateau.
May Day (La Fête du Muguet, La Fête du Travail) in France is a public holiday to campaign for and celebrate workers rights. It is also an occasion to present lily-of-the-valley or dog rose flowers to loved ones. We saw many people selling little bouquets of the charming lily-of-the-valley.
History of Chambord:
The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.
The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King François I in part to be near to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury, Claude Rohan, wife of Julien de Clermont, a member of a very important family of France, whose domaine, the château de Muides, was adjacent. Her arms figure in the carved decor of the château.
Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and Château d'Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with several doubts, to Domenico da Cortona. Some authors claim that the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme had a considerable role in the château's design, and others have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed it.
Chambord was altered considerably during the twenty years of its construction, (1519–1547), during which it was overseen on-site by Pierre Nepveu. With the château nearing completion, François showed off his enormous symbol of wealth and power by hosting his old archnemesis, Emperor Charles V at Chambord.
The château was never intended to provide any form of defense from enemies; consequently the walls, towers and partial moat are purely decorative, and even at the time were an anachronism. some elements of the architecture – open windows, loggia, and a vast outdoor area at the top – borrowed from the Italian Renaissance architecture – are less practical in cold and damp northern France.
The château was built to act as a hunting lodge for Francis, however the king spent barely seven weeks there in total, comprising short hunting visits. As the château had been constructed with the purpose of short stays, it was actually not practical to live there on a longer-term basis. The massive rooms, open windows and high ceilings meant heating was impractical.
Similarly, as the château was not surrounded by a village or estate, there was no immediate source of food other than game. This meant that all food had to be brought with the group, typically numbering up to 2,000 people at a time.
The roofscape of Chambord contrasts with the masses of its masonry and has often been compared with the skyline of a town: it shows eleven kinds of towers and three types of chimneys, without symmetry, framed at the corners by the massive towers. The design parallels are north Italian and Leonardesque.
The château also features 128 meters of façade, more than 800 sculpted columns and an elaborately decorated When François I commissioned the construction of Chambord, he wanted it to look like the skyline of Constantinople.
Château Chambord was the inspiration for the Beast's castle in the 1991 animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast.