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A 16th-century chateau has been transformed into a park, activity center, exhibition venue, and restaurant and gift shop. It even has a "living horse" museum that displays many breeds of horses and features equestrian shows. This Renaissance chateau of Chantilly is set among undulating hills covered with beech trees. So enjoy a day out here, it is restored to rejuvenate!
Built somewhere during the early 16th-century, the Chateau Royal d'Amboise is a Medieval styled Italian masterpiece overlooking the Loire River. Each year thousands of visitors come here to bask in the wonderful scenic views around the castle. Some even come by to check out the Gothic furniture within. A small chapel of St-Hubert also finds its home on the castle premises which epically contains the mortal remains of Leonardo Da Vinci. The Chateau Royal d'Amboise is also host to private events, weddings, wine tasting sessions and other cultural gatherings. Call ahead or check website for more details.
As one of the most famous castles in the Loire Valley, Château de Chenonceau has seen its fair share of visitors. A castle was first thought to have been established on the site in the 11th Century, though the castle that stands today was constructed in 1514. The first structure was built for the Marques family, though it has changed hands many times over the years. Catherine de Medici made the castle her home in 1559 and put on France's first fireworks display when her son, Francis II, took the throne. The castle features a bridge with a gallery that spans the Loire river. The Gothic and early Renaissance structure is open to the public. Visitors can wander through the castle's serene gardens and take tours through the richly decorated interior.
An army of spires atop the Chateau de Chambord's enormous structure vie for attention, while the chateau itself reflects its splendor-filled charm in the decorative moat below. A truly remarkable example of mixed architectural styles that span French Renaissance, medieval and Classical elements, the Chateau de Chambord is deemed as the largest chateau in the Loire Valley. When viewed against the sun, the dramatic silhouette of the chateau seems to go on forever, as if to contain the bevy of architectural embellishments within its imposing facade. Built at the behest of King Francis I of France in the 16th Century, the Chateau de Chambord was constructed over a period of 28 years, and its designs reflected the distinct styles of Italian architect Domenico da Cortona and Leonardo da Vinci. The fortress consists of 440 rooms, 335 fireplaces, and 12 staircases, all sprawled over an area of 15,850.6 square meters (200,000 square feet), of which the double helix staircase and vaulted hallways prominently stand out. Born of the combined brilliance of celebrated artists of the time and a unique architectural style, the Chateau de Chambord unfolds like an enigma in the thick of France's rural scenery.