“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Amboise is a town in central France’s Loire Valley. It’s known for the Château d’Amboise, the grand 15th-century residence of King Charles VIII featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb, as well as royal chambers, gardens and underground passageways, old towns, villages and views of the river.
Here you can see some of the houses in the main road that are made of half timber and half stone.
The Clock Tower is one of the iconic sites in Amboise which was built in the 15th century. During that time, it served as the main gateway into town. In 1445 it turned into a bell tower and the clock was only added in later years.
Before our trip, my husband and I didn’t know anything about Amboise. This wasn’t part of the itinerary but I think we went here because people didn’t want to go to another church. Our travel coordinator asked us if anybody wanted to go and see the Chateau, but I think only 6 people out of 30 went (well, maybe because there was a fee to enter). But OMG, the rest of the people in our tour really missed so much by not going down at this place.
The Royal Chateau de Amboise is situated overlooking the city of Amboise in the heart of the Loire Valley and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was built in the Gothic and Renaissance style and was home to French royalty from the 15th–19th centuries. This is a famous part of French history and many of the Kings of France were born, lived and died at Chateau de Amboise.
First thing that we saw upon entering the grounds was the little Chapel of St Hubert which is also a part of the Chateau. The chapel sits high on a cliff and it can be visible from all the corners of the castle.
St Hubert in itself is an architectural highlight of Amboise, as it is tiny but really exquisite . This Gothic chapel was built between 1491 and 1496 during the reign of Charles VIII.
Leonardo da Vinci died in Amboise in 1519 and was buried in St. Florentine’s church. After the French revolution, his bones were moved and reburied in the St Hubert’s chapel.
This was the entrance to this castle on the hill…
The Royal Chateau in Amboise is truly a magnificent site, with the castle dominating the skyline, it feels like something out of a fairytale.
Impressive detail of the elaborate Gothic-style windows.
Leonardo Da Vinci lived in Amboise from the age of 64. He asked the king at that time if he could be buried in the chateau grounds in the St Florentine Church. But that church has been demolished in the early 1800s, so now a bust stands on the spot to mark the site.
I am usually not into manicured gardens, but this one is a level up. The garden of the Chateau is perfectly manicured and some of the trees are clipped to form balls and cones…very impressive indeed!
Looking down from the castle you can get some excellent view of the town and the river. It looked like toy houses from up where we were standing.
On going back down to our coach, the exit from the château is done through the circular passage. Near the exit, you can see these shields which I am not sure what it was for.