The Château of Chambord is the greatest example of folly in the Loire Valley.
Commissioned by Francois I in 1519, 1800 men worked on the construction during a period of over 20 years. The structure, containing 440 rooms, 365 fireplace, 13 great staircases, and stables to accommodate 1200 horses, stands in a 5400 hectare park surrounded by a wall 52 kilometres long.
These figures are mind-boggling and the fact that it was designed as a hunting lodge rather than a permanent residence speaks of the excesses of French Royalty in the middle ages.
We spent hours wandering through the chateau, and apart from one incident with an official concerned about Hugh trying to climb through a balustrade everyone was fairly well behaved.
But by the end we were all pretty tired - "all château-ed out" as Roger said.