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Amboise Castle


Leonardo daVinci (you know, painted the Mona Lisa?)died in here for more on this.

Catherine de Medici, Henry the 8th's first wife, died at Amboise after being kept there in house arrest for most of her adult life.


  This 15th-century chateau was built in the Gothic and Renaissance styles under the direction of Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francois I. The chateau, the site of the Amboise Conspiracy of 1560 -- an ill-fated plot against Francois II -- fell into disrepair during the Revolution and only a portion of the sprawling compound remains. The Tour des Minimes, the original entrance to the castle, is particularly notable. The Chapelle St-Hubert, perched on the ramparts of the castle, is believed to contain the remains of Leonardo da Vinci, who died in Amboise in 1519.


The young King Charles VIII entrusted the task of building a new home to three master masons.

The young King Charles VIII entrusted the task of building a new home to three master masons.


Charles VIII suffered a fatal accident at Amboise.
"He took Queen Anne to see a game of raquette. They entered a gallery together : the King struck his brow against the portal and suffered a fatal fall... he rendered his soul to the Lord who designed to receive in his Kingdom of Heaven".

Louise de Savoie arrives in Amboise

Childless Louis XII summoned young François d'Angoulême, aged four, who became heir apparent to the throne. What great hope filled the heart of Louise de Savoie !!

Louis XII marries Mary of England

Anne of Brittany has died without having given the King an heir. The King marries young Mary of England. François love affair threatens to put his future at risk : what if Mary were to produce a son for the King... a friend warned François of the trouble which could result from his youthful hotheadedness.

Death of Louis XII. 1st Juanary 1515

François became King of France. The whole kingdom rejoiced, the people of Amboise in particular, since the first act of François first act is to grant a royal decree increasing their privileges.

Great rejoicing at Amboise

Feasting and revelry, markets and dancing, entertainment of all kinds and jugglers to celebrate the accession of King François to the throne.

Resurgence of italian troubles

Like Charles VIII and Louis XII before him, François led his troops across the mountains. For the mother of the new King, left behind in Amboise, it was a time spent anxiously waiting for news.

Finally, at dawn on 14th September, 1515 : the Marignan camp, François was able to proclaim his outstanding victory. Bayard declared him Cavalier King.

On his return from italy, celebrations were held and glory shone in the garden of France, the rejoicing continued to spread... baptism and marriage were colourful occasions...

At the Court of King François

Preceded by guardsmen and footmen, the Court would make its ceremonial entrance into the terraces of the royal château to welcome its King.

To the accompaniment of Renaissance music the royal dancers spilled out into the lawns and interpreted the melody of the pavanes, bransles and galliards...

"A Court without a Lady is a garden without a beautiful flower"...

The old stones of the castle have retained their echoes and could tell us tales of the loves of our kings, including that of the King for the countess of Chateaubriant...

"Triboulet is a jester with broken horns on his head... mimicking everyone" he has fun with one and all, greets the villagers and receives their offerings...

The castle became a permanent place of rejoicing and François sent for one of the geniuses of the period : Leonardo de Vinci.

Leonardo organised equestrian festivities and masquerades for the King. An incredibly talented producer, he was able to enchant and amaze the most splendid of courts...