The beautiful double helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous architectural features of Chambord.
Its positioning in the edifice is remarkable. It was placed in the very center of the keep, where four spacious rooms converge. It is composed of twinned helical ramps twisting one above the other around a hollowed out, partially open core. The so-called “double helix” staircase services the principal floors of the building, all the way up to the crowning terraces, which are topped off by the tallest tower of the castle, the lantern tower.
The two spirals ascend the three floors. Ever since the 16th century, the staircase has continued to fascinate château visitors due not only to the architectural feat it represents, but also to the dramatic staging it provides. When two persons use the opposed staircases at the same time, they can see each other through window openings but never cross paths. Just like countless château guests over the centuries, tourists take undisguised pleasure in the game.
It leads to the roof terrace which is topped by a 32m high lantern.