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 Chambord 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:
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:
Above is a good old fashioned writing desk
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:
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:-)
Thank you for reading and check out Part 4 in this series next Sunday.