Known for its thick walls and small windows the main purpose of building chateaus during the 13th and 14th centuries were for a military defense or a form of protection to the nobles rather than living. This is due to individuals viewing this type of architectural building as outdated and old fashioned. With the arrival of the 15th century the purpose of military defense was slightly shifted more toward social noble prosperity, widely known as the most luxurious manors in the world. France is the location of the most prestigious and largest chateau also known as Château de Chambord. Château de Chambord is situated in France’s Loire, and is mainly popular for it’s hunting area that overlooks one of Europe’s largest lake. Also, having the construction of walls and roofs as an inspiration of the French Gothic Style, with a Renaissance origin Greek cross plan only makes the castle more interesting(Getty, 2004).
To begin with, this achievement is said to be built as an influence of Leonardo da Vinci’s artwork, the ancient school of thought of Vitruvius and Italian architecture which is why many still question who the true architect of this castle is. Many argue that it is the work of an Italian architect some saying is Vignola, Primaticcio, or Rosso. And even though the architect who accomplished the achievement of building Château de Chambord is still until this day unknown; the strong influence of Leonardo Da Vinci’s work shows in the identity of the castle. Since it has been recently found out that many parts of the plan of Château de Chambord are in resemblance with Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches. One examples is that different studies highlight the fact that the famous double helix staircase is a similar duplicate to one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches. Another famous contribution was done by Dominique De Cortona, also known as The Boccador, helped in building this astonishing castle, a wooden study model of the Château de Chambord, makes people believe that he was one of the architects responsible for building it(Google Cultural Institute, 2017). The mystery of this castle only makes it more interesting and astonishing, keeping many still studying it and looking for the answer of who the real architect is, many believing that the fact that the architect is a mystery is due to it having many external influence and an unknown architect that have troubled historian’s minds.
Furthermore, when taking a closer look at the incredible staircase, also known as the ‘magic staircase of Château de Chambord, for the reason of it being a “trompe l’oeil” translated to “deceiving the eye” in english meaning art pieces that create eye illusions. Where four big rooms intersect in the middle of the castle, the famous double helix staircase is centered in the middle. This is unlike all other architectural achievements of the time. A very special feature of the helical staircase is that it actually consists of two staircases one above the other in which two people can use it at the same time and not meet whatsoever. And historians believe that this is the main purpose behind the incredible double stairs, the feeling of anticipation people get when two individuals are going up the stairs at the same time and are completely invisible to each other. In addition to that, they also believe that the double stair has a beautiful poetic meaning to it that many people miss and not see due to them rushing up the stairs and only aiming to meet the other person going up the stair at the same time, at the top. (Koustas, 2017 P. 137)
As many know, one of the Renaissance period’s main beliefs was that order and beauty is the result of having the principles of arithmetic and geometry applied in the architecture, Château de Chambord, was one of many architectural masterpieces during the Renaissance period that followed this belief. The facade of the Château de Chambord is symmetrical, looking out on two open spaces from both ways, and this is another feature inspired by the ancient school of thought of Vitruvius. A square shaped dungeon is centered in the plan of the castle, surrounding it four huge round towers from each corner, four large rooms that are 9 meters in width and 18 meters long are shown inside the square in the plan forming the Greek cross(Chambord Castle, 2017). And the famous double helix staircase of found in the center of the Greek cross. And according to the Google Cultural Institute of Arts, In addition to that, on the left of the square in the center of the plan, containing the dungeon, is the wing of the chapel, while on the right a royal wing is constructed.
To conclude, although the castle is an amazing architectural achievement that makes its mark on France, it has always been empty. It is true that some kings and people of the royal family have stayed there for vacations especially in the fall for the purpose of hunting, however it has never been the main residence of a king. But for the beauty of this monument, until this day the Château de Chambord is preserved and protected. And, even though the beauty is in the architecture of the Château de Chambord itself, from a total of 426 rooms a few rooms of the castle are furnished for people to go walk around the three floors of the castle and see(Sullivan, 2009).