Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blois and Chateau de Chambord

Sunday, May 13th: Mother’s Day - how perfect is that? We (Dave, Barb and Katie) stopped in the town of Blois for lunch, which is a picturesque town right in the heart of Loire, and then continued on to Chambord, which, as the guidebook says is the “granddaddy” of all the Loire chateaux. It was huge (440 rooms, but thankfully only 80 are open to the public), and created primarily to knock the socks off people the kings wanted to impress with their wealth and power (it surely worked on us). Fun chateau facts we learned are: the king and his court moved from chateau to chateau as a way of ruling by being physically present throughout the kingdom. When Chambord was empty, the forests surrounding the castle were guarded from poachers but the chateau itself was left untended. The court, staff, and hangers-on that traveled with the king were so numerous that even this huge chateau couldn’t hold them all, so the overflow people were forced to board with the villagers or camp out on the grounds. At a royal banquet, people ate with their fingers and shared a goblet - it was polite to drain the goblet before passing it on to the next person.

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