Chambord, château, park, and village in the department of Loire-et-Cher in central France, 15 km (9 mi) northeast of Blois on the Cosson River. The château of Chambord was a retreat for French kings, especially Louis XIV (ruled 1643-1715). It was under his auspices that French dramatist Molière’s Monsieur de Pourceaugnac and Le bourgeois gentilhomme were first produced there.
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Building of the château was begun by Francis I in 1519, and was completed in 1547. Florentine artist Leonardo da Vinci paid a short visit to the building during its construction and added a few embellishments to it. The structure, containing 440 rooms, 13 great staircases, and stables to accommodate 1200 horses, stands in a park surrounded by a wall 35 km (22 mi) in circumference.
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Stanislas I, removed from his office as king of Poland in 1734, lived in the château for a time. Emperor Napoleon I later gave the château to French military leader Louis Alexander Berthier. In 1821 it passed from Berthier’s widow to Henri Charles Ferdinand Marie Dieudonné d’Artois, duke of Bordeaux, who then took the title comte de Chambord. When he died in 1883, the château was bequeathed to the Ducal family of Parma, Italy, who sold it to the French government in 1932.