Castles in the air: Part 3

If you would like to follow this post from from Part 1, you are welcome to refer to it for an overview of the three castles I am taking you through in more detail. Remember that we are going into each castle.

To refresh your memory, here is an external view of the castle:

Chateau ChambordParis & Montreux Jazz Festival 2012 170_1024 1519: A palace rises up out of the swampy lowlands of the Sologne region, on the edge of a forest filled with wild boar. François I, the young king who had garnered glory in the Battle of Marignan, ordered its construction. The château de Chambord was not intended to be a permanent residence; François I would in fact spend only a few weeks here, leaving it empty of furniture and people after his visits. It was an architectural jewel that the king liked to show to visiting crowned heads and ambassadors as a symbol of his power. Although the château was not completed under François I, it is one of the few buildings of that age that has survived without major modifications to its original design.

Construction was momentarily halted after François I’s military defeat at Pavie by his     rival Charles V and his following captivity in Madrid. Then, in 1526, work began again.  The King of France made changes to his original plan, adding two lateral wings to the  basic keep, one of which would serve as the king’s own residence. The keep was completed around 1539 and the royal wing (East wing) in 1544. A turret staircase was added to the work and an exterior high walkway to the royal wing in 1545, while the  work on the asymmetrical wing (chapel wing) and a low wall encircling the courtyard like in medieval castles continued.

In the 18th century, works done concerned mainly the interior of the château, which at that time no longer served as a residence for kings.

Given that this castle was set up initially to be a hunting lodge, there are numerous   paintings on the walls of animals. Above are some of these animals sculpted into the   ceiling above. Below is an example of a painting:

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The need to heat and generally make the château comfortable led its different occupants to furnish it more permanently and install woodwork, parquet, lowered  ceilings and furnishings. These additions and furnishings will be the focus of this post  with may pieces dating back to the 18th century:

The panelled walls and fireplaces:

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Bedrooms:Paris & Montreux Jazz Festival 2012 218_1024

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Above is a good old fashioned  writing desk

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In case you are curious about what bathrooms and toilets looked like, here is an example below. Pity the bugger who had to empty this thing:

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In case you were wondering what a “servant’s” room looked like, check out the pokey little room. He/she definitely had to slosh out his/her own chamber pot:-)

Paris & Montreux Jazz Festival 2012 217_1024  Thank you for reading and check out Part 4 in this series next Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Castles in the air: Part 3

  1. Oh thank you dear for the ‘up close and personal’ look inside this magnificent castle. I am still visualizing his highness riding a carriage up to the sleeping quarters! LOL!!!

    So much I’ve learned from you! Thanks!

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  2. Lovely tour, Chevvy! I can’t believe this fabulous castle was to be a hunting lodge! Loved the bed behind the many curtains–Day sleeper? No problem! And of course, the writing desk. Man cannot live on hunting alone, he must return and write about it. Awaiting photos of upgrade from chamber potty to water closet. Ever think about becoming a docent? 🙂

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Joan. Yes – a hunting lodge! In fact beautiful as all this is, it illustrates the excesses that humans are capable of and how these can change the course of history. A Docent? Well if it took me to exotic places – definitely!

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