There is only one word that can be used to describe this Château – gigantic!
When we arrived here we parked in a parking area outside of the Château in the small village. After purchasing our tickets we walked through a “main street” area that was filled with cafés. The Château quickly came into view. It is the largest château in the Loire Valley. We were not only struck by the size of the building, but also the spires rising out of the roof – they seem to be there randomly as well as in different artistic and architectural styles.
We stood in a line with several school groups to go through a bag-check. At first we were worried this would be packed as a result of the line, however this château is so large you have no worries about places being crowded as we all scatter through the large building and immense grounds.
We used the map/guide we received with our tickets which gave us plenty of information for a walking tour of the Château. We especially enjoyed quiet, crowd free moments to photograph the unique double-helix staircase that is in the center of the building. We toured through the kitchen, carriage room, hunting room, the François I bedroom, the Queen’s bedroom, the Governor’s bedroom, Chapel, guest apartments, Museum of the Count of Chambord, and trophy gallery. After exploring inside we went out of the rooftop terraces. What a sight – and so windy on the day of our visit. We had fun walking around the towers on the roof, taking in the view, and surveying the expanse of the property.
After walking through the gift shop, every château has one of course, we closed out our visit with an afternoon lunch – remember we had had sweet treats at 11:00 at Cheverny! We enjoyed Croque Madame sandwiches, cider, and beer before heading back to our B&B for the evening.
- Due to the size and popularity of this Château be patient with the crowds. They will disperse soon enough after you enter the giant building.
- Enjoy a quick, typically French lunch on the main street in the village between the Château and the parking area.
- Be sure to go on the rooftop terrace to fully appreciate the size and variety of the spires.