The chateau was conceived by Francois Premier, and began life as a hunting lodge
in the Foret de Boulogne. By 1519 the original building had been pulled down and
the chateau that we see today, started.
The design was probably by Leonardo de Vinci, although it is not certain how
many of his original drawings were incorporated into the building.
After twenty years of building by nearly 2,000 workmen most of the chateau was
The son of Francois Premier, Henri ll added the west wing and the 440 room
chateau was completed by Louis XIV in 1685.
At first glance the chateau appears symmetrical, but on closer inspection you
notice that no two aspects of the building are the same, chimneys do not match
and roof styles vary. It is as if the chateau was built with pieces left over
from other chateaux in the area.
The chateau at one time had the longest wall in the world, 32km of stone to keep
the game in and the poachers out.
Francois Premier at one point even requested that the Loire be diverted to form
a lake alongside the chateau. This was not possible for engineers at that time
so a small stream was dammed to add some water and a small moat.
The chateau has been extensively restored over the past few years and is now
home to the Mounted Police Academy.