Amboise Things to Do

  • Da Vinci Memorial, Amboise, July 2008
    Da Vinci Memorial, Amboise, July 2008
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  • Château d’Amboise, street side, July 2008
    Château d’Amboise, street side, July...
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  • Château du Clos-Lucé, L’Auberge du Prieuré, 07/08
    Château du Clos-Lucé, L’Auberge du...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Amboise

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    Chateau d'Amboise

    by gwened Updated Dec 25, 2015

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    I come here several times a year, business and then family as we gather our house wines in the area. and again..

    What can I add more to one of the most beautiful of the Loire castles, a bit of history tells us that by the year 503AD, Amboise enters our history as there the meeting of Clovis ,king of the Francs and Alaric, king of the visigoths took place. AFter periods of wars, the castle becomes part of the Counts of Anjou, then the house of Amboise-Chaumont. In 1214, the region of Touraine is taken over by king Philippe Auguste ,king of France. The family of Amboise-Chaumont becomes the lords of the region until 1431 when Louis d'Amboise is found gulity of plotting against the favorite of the king Charles VII, that is La Trémouille and Louis d'Amboise, comdame to death is finally given grace but loses the property of Château d'Amboise that is confiscated by the crown house of France.
    YOu have the union and the symbol of the sword for Charles VIII and the hermine for Anne de Bretagne. As Charles VIII died without heritage, his cousin the Duke of Orleans ascend under king Louis XII and marries as well Anne de Bretagne in 1491. The Bretagne or Brittany was in personal union between it and France, the royal couple had no descendants and once Charles died in 1498 the terms of the contract obligated of Anne de Bretagne of marries Louis XII. King François 1er, the succssor of Louis Louis XII (died 1515), becomes the heritier of the dukedom as his wife Claude De France ( died 1524), daughter of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne, and later his sons François and Henri. They intervine in the affairs of the dukedom and finally in 1532 at the majority age of duke François ,the states of the dukedom agreed to the demands of François I to regularise the testament of Claude de France in favor of her son François. The union with the kingdom is accepted with the condition to respect the priviliges of the dukedom. The edit of the union is signed August 13 of 1532 at Nantes.
    And here ends my story as Brittany is united with France.

    It has an exceptional collection of Gothic and Renaissance furniture, see the royal apartments , cavalry towers and the great views of its gardens overlooking the Loire river.

    Chateau d'Amboise tower shot of Amboise and the Loire chapelle royale,Da Vinci is there castle gardens the castle walls at Christmas time
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    Chateau du Clos-Lucé, Léonard de Vinci

    by gwened Updated Dec 25, 2015

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    Cant talk about the castle without telling you Léonard De Vinci lived here did his works here,and died here. Buried in the chapel.

    a bit of history
    The story really starts with the reign of king Louis XI in 1471. The castle is offered by the king to his favorite Etienne le Loup, that noble by the king takes residence there. The place was then call the Manoir du Cloux and by 1660 it takes the name of the Chateau du Clos Lucé

    The Château du Clos Lucé is purchase by king Charles VIII on July 2 1490 and it becomes residence of the kings of France that resides in nearby Chateau d'Amboise. king Charles VIII transform the fortress into an agreable chateau and had built a chapel so that his wife Anne de Bretagne could pray in it the lossesof his earlier childrens .

    it is in 1516 that king François Ier invites Léonard de Vinci,on the advise of his sister Marguerite de Navarre,and the story is inside.... The death of Leonardo de Vinci on May 2 1519 turn a page i the history of the château du Clos Lucé. The castle is the property of the family Saint Bris since 1854 to today.


    And passed by again, this time at night not open but always a welcome sign.

    entering clos-Luc�� Chateau du Clos-Luc�� the patio courtyard in Clos-Luc�� entrance to Clos Luc�� at night L��onard de Vinci died here at le Clos Luc��
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    Clos Luce

    by GentleSpirit Updated Nov 8, 2015

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    One of the two major sites for tourists in Amboise, The Clos Luce was the chateau where Leonardo Da Vinci spent his last few years (1516-19).

    There are several different parts to see at this site. The first is the house (chateau), each room furnished. It is perhaps less overly decorated than one might expect given that Leonardo was held in such high esteem by the King of France. The chateau is spacious and comfortable without being extravagant.

    The basement holds a collection of some of Leonardo's inventions. Even to those who have little or no knowledge of the details of Leonardo this is impressive. His obvious talent and far -sightedness in so many very complex fields is quite awe inspiring. Leonardo's title was First Painter, Architect and Engineer to the King. To excel in any one of these disciplines would be a huge accomplishment, to be a genius in all of them is really quite difficult to grasp. There is a video presentation about the inventions upstairs which was interesting (a bit too lengthy for those without an engineering background.)

    The gardens have mock ups of several of the inventions but are enjoyable in themselves for the great variety in them. To me this was one of the more enjoyable gardens to explore-it had more formal gardens common to other chateaus in France, but also had a lovely lush variety of plants and trees and scenes.

    Depending on your particular background and interests, you should plan on spending at least 2-3 hours here.

    The Clos Luce part of the gardens
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    Hotel de Ville Museum

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 17, 2015

    It was starting to look like there was going to be a downpour, so I ducked into this museum as I was making my way to the cheateau.

    This is the former residence of Pierre Morin, the treasurer to Louis XII. Until the 1970's this building served as the Hotel de Ville, until a more modern (and large) building was constructed for that purpose.

    Today it is a museum housing artifacts that were collected over the centuries. There was a neat room full of painting and sculptures dealing with Leonardo, for example. Interestingly they tried to arrange the presentations according to theme rather than just time. It worked nicely and the old building was just the right size.

    I wouldn't consider this a must-see if you are in Amboise, it is still worthwhile. There are some very nice paintings and a few articles from Amboise's period of greatness. The building itself is interesting in that it is a bit discordant, being made of all stone, rather than the wood that was common in the old town. A pretty castle that was used by various nobles over the years, mostly as a residence, it still has hints of that grandeur.

    Admission is Free
    Hours- 10 am to 6 pm, closed from 1 to 2 pm.

    litter used to carry VIP's stonework, entrance
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    Planning to see the chateaus

    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 11, 2015

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    The Loire Valley is the place to come if you want to see the chateaus of the French royalty and their noble friends. That being said, you will want to be selective about what chateaus you choose to visit. Why? Each chateau has an entry fee, usually about 9-15 euros. This can get pretty pricey in a hurry if you are not selective.

    To safeguard against against disappointment please bear in mind that the chateaus range widely in how much furnishings they have. Some, like Chenonceau, are realistically (and quite elegantly) furnished. Others, like Chambord, have relatively little furniture so you will have to use your imagination (and previous knowledge hopefully) to get an idea of how the residents of these cheateaus might have lived.

    Though there are different architectural styles, pay attention to the function of the chateau. Some of them were built and rebuilt many times, so the defensive/military functions that might have been present in earlier times were done away with later on. Hence, you will not see giant defensive walls, moats and towers at all of the chateaus.

    There will be gardens, though, again, these will vary. The ones I saw varied from a garden that you could see at a nice relaxed pace in an hour or so, and others that would take the better part of a day to see.

    Perhaps one of the more important factors is the number of chateaus you want to see. Unless you are a total chateau fanatic and know the intimate details of what you are looking at, most people probably will only be able to see a few chateaus in one day. I can see how it would be easy to get burned out on seeing chateaus fairly quickly.

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    Minivan tours to the castles

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 11, 2015

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    Like any visitor to the Loire Valley you are most likely there to visit the great castles nearby. Problem is that while some are accessible by train or bus, many others are not. A number of companies offer tours to the castles in a minivan. These are only offering transport, please bear that in mind. The drivers are not tour guides, though they will offer commentary on what you are seeing as you pass.

    Read the ads carefully, when they are advertising six castles, you will not be visiting all six castles, you will spend the bulk of your time at a few and you will see others more briefly if you go in at all.

    Any chateaus that you visit on these tours, you will have to pay the admission fee separately.
    A benefit, however, is that you can get reduced rates for chateau admissions from the drivers.

    The service is a good one for travelers who don't have a car and want to make good use of their time, since getting to several of the main chateaus is difficult if not impossible using public transport options.

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    Chateau de Amboise

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 11, 2015

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    The chateau dominates the view of Amboise. A castle has been here as early as the 9th century due to the strategic qualities it has. The view not only over the city, but over the Loire River is excellent, making it easy to defend if necessary.

    The chateau's time in the limelight began when it was confiscated by Charles VII, King of France. Charles may have cooked up some trumped up charges that the owner of the chateau was plotting against him. Certainly not unthinkable given the times. The chateau was first rebuilt in 1492 and later in 1495, where it started to show many more Italian influences. Poor Charles, he didn't watch where he was going and bumped his head on a doorway hard enough to eventually kill him on his way to a tennis game.

    Amboise then became a chateau royale, and several generations of French royalty was at least born here. Gradually, however, its influence decreased as the Kings of France built grander and newer palaces at Blois and Versailles, for example. Like so many other castles in the Loire, even this one was one that many of the monarchs spent relatively little time at. By the 17th century it had become all but abandoned and many of its buildings had been demolished.

    On the grounds of the Castle is the chapel of St Hubert, built in Flamboyant Gothic style. It is a small but quite beautiful place of worship.

    There is also a large garden, which I unfortunately didn't get to visit because of the driving rain.

    Entrance fee is 9 euro. As castles go it is somewhat less furnished, and certainly less luxurious, than other castles in the area. The tour (audioguide) is quite good and gives you a good idea of what everything is. You can go into much greater depth if you have time. Put aside at least an hour and a half to see the castle

    Chateau de Amboise view over the Loire Chapel of St Hubert Leonardo Da Vinci in the gardens
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    Office of Tourism for Amboise

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 11, 2015

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    The Office of Tourism is located right on the main street going through town. I found it a valuable resource for information about the city and the whole Loire Valley region in general.
    Amboise is one of the usual starting points for bus tours going to the chateaus, the meeting place is usually directly in front of the Tourist Office.

    You will get service in English, Spanish and most major languages.

    I found the staff to be very nice, very patient in answering questions and generous in offering suggestions. Significantly, you can get discounts on entry fees to the chateaus through the Tourist Office

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    St Florentin

    by GentleSpirit Written Sep 17, 2015

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    This quiet church right near the market square in Amboise was first consecrated in 1484. I hadn't expected the relatively simple, almost bare, interior. The church has been renovated after damage suffered in World War II which destroyed the stained glass windows. Over time it was changed to a Renaissance church.

    There is no entry charge and the building is now used to host choral and musical concerts.

    stained glass windows St Florentin altar of St florentine
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    Taste some Loire valley wines

    by Herkbert Updated Mar 4, 2015

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    Whether you visit some vineyards, find a wine bar, relax in a cafe or enjoy it with dinner, do make sure that you sample some of the terrific Loire Valley wines.

    With names like Chinon, Vouvray, Saumur and Bourgueil among others, you can find a white or red wine that will please your palate.

    Loire Valley Wine
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    The music Room

    by black_mimi99 Written Nov 24, 2011

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    In this room we can see the collection such as grand piano, portrait of Louis-Philippe, portrait of Emir abd-el-Kader, Louis Philippe pedestal table, portrait of queen Marie-Amelie, wife of Louis-Philippe, with 2 of her sons, chairs etc....

    The music Room

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    The Louis Philippe Room

    by black_mimi99 Updated Nov 24, 2011

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    Louis Philippe was given the chateau d'Amboise by his mother Louise-Marie-Adelaide de Bourbon-Penthievre. The future king of the French (1773,1830,1850) acquired 46 houses surrounding the chateau to have them demolished, so clearing the remparts. The royal wing was decorated according to the tastes of the time.

    The Louis Philippe Room

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    The Franciscan Antechamber

    by black_mimi99 Written Nov 24, 2011

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    I like to see the ornate fireplace here, with its carvings of intertwining ropes, symbol of the Franciscan monastic order. and of the decorative chain of the order of St. Michael. The wood panel above the fireplace decorated with a salamander, favorite symbol of François I.

    The Franciscan Antechamber

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    The Cupbearer's Room

    by black_mimi99 Written Nov 24, 2011

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    This room re calls changes in table manners at court, where the cupbearer served drinks. Medieval trestle tables would be replaced by fixed tables. Italian-style tables then became fashionable, richly decorated and extendable. despite the timed introduction of the two-pronged fork, knife and spoon remained more popular up to the reign of Henri III.

    The Cupbearer's Room

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    The Council Chamber

    by black_mimi99 Updated Nov 24, 2011

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    During the renaissance, the king of france gradually spread his power over the kingdom, in particular by making sure that his governors, officers and dignitaries in the clergy remained faithful to him. moreover he demanded that his lords spend several months by his side accompanied by their wives. And women became entitled to their place in the royal court. From this moment on solemn audiences and joyful festivities formed an attractive integral part of court life. The council room is one of the 1st of this size to have been used for these events. One of the big favorites at that time was La Festa del Paradiso, imagined by Leonardo da Vindi whose ingenious machinery made it possible to reproduce the trajectories of stars.

    hall of state

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