Château de Chambord

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The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures. “The artistic influence of Italy came into operation in France sooner than in other European countries, for as early as the fifteenth century the Renaissance style was introduced there by Italian architects, as, for instance, by Fra Giocondo, who was summoned thither by Louis XII. But at the epoch the Flamboyant style was still in its vigour, and the buildings then erected could not extricate themselves from its influence. The consequence was that a blending of the two styles temporarily prevailed, as, for instance in the Château de Blois, which Louis XII. caused to be built, and which has lately been restored by Duban. It was in these country residences of the nobility, especially on the banks of the Loire, that this architectural activity was displayed during the earlier period of the Renaissance; amongst their number the Château de Chambord [shown here] is most worthy of notice. The pilasters and their mouldings of the Renaissance style were, it is true, somewhat rudely carried out, and in the earlier period were combined with certain elements of the Flamboyant style. Highly ornamental gables and dormer-windows. especially, were executed in the latter style. Buildings were contemporaneously constructed entirely in the Flamboyant style, as, for instance, the Cathedral, the Palais de Justice, and the Hâtel Bourgtheroulde, all at Rouen, and the Hâtel de Ville at Compiègne.”


A. Rosengarten, W. Collett-Sandars A Handbook of Architectural Styles (New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895)


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