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France in focus

French castle of Chambord celebrates five eventful centuries

This week, we're in the Loire Valley, in the grounds of the region's most recognisable castles: Chambord, where construction began five centuries ago. This Renaissance masterpiece was conceived as a hunting lodge for King Francis I, who used it as a potent example of his power and prestige. Never to be completed, the edifice was altered repeatedly during its construction, then later looted and abandoned, before being restored to become the tourist magnet it is today. We tell you more.

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