Chateau of Chambord

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Domenico da Cortona or Pierre Nepveu

Chambord, Centre (central region), France; 1519–47

Chambord is the largest of the chateaux of the Loire, built by François I of France as a hunting lodge. The ground plan looks like the plan of a fortification, with its round towers at the corners, but it is the work above the cornice-line that gives the building its special character. The steeply sloping roofs, chimneys, lanterns, turrets and pinnacles proliferate in a way that seems scarcely possible, and the building appears as a mirage of vanished magnificence.

To call the place a hunting lodge is to mask the building’s more important ...

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