1777 Château de Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France by Mark – Off to Singapore Via Flickr: The Royal Château de Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France
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 distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King Francis I of France. Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for Francis I. During the Second World War, art works from the collections of the Louvre and the Château de Compiègne were moved to the Château de Chambord. The château is now open to the public, receiving 700,000 visitors in 2007. The château is surrounded by a 52.5‑km² (13,000‑acre) wooded park and game reserve maintained with red deer, enclosed by a 31‑kilometer (20‑mile) wall.