Visit Amboise by Mouse
Amboise (Google map) , on the south bank of the Loire River, is in west-central France in the Indres-et-Loire Department. It is certainly among France's most beautiful cities. (Photos) There are at least two extremely interesting buildings probably worth visiting by anyone interested in history or in seeing beautiful things up close. One is the Chateau which sits on a bluff overlooking the Loire. However we did not tour this Chateau, content to to see it from our campground on the island in the Loire just across from it and up close from the base of the wall of the cliff on which it is perched. When we tour for a stretch of two to three months we do have to skip some things, and Chateaux are among the things we tend to skip, no matter how inviting they seem. This is partly due to the entrance fees, partly due to the time required for such visits, and also partly due to our aging legs and feet. (Cathedrals, on the other hand, are places we make a point of visiting whenever and wherever we find them.) The other great thing in Amboise, which we did visit, is the Clos Luce, the home of Leonardo da Vinci for the last three years of his life.
The Chateau was built in the 15th and 16th centuries in the Italianate style for King Charles VIII and Francois 1 who ruled at the beginning of the Renaissance and was a contempory of King Henry VIII of England. It was Francois I's royal residence. Its website reports that it contains many pieces of Gothic and Renaissance furniture. And its chapel contains Leonardo's tomb.
The Clos Luce, was built by King Francois I expressly as a gift for the great Leonardo. Whatever else you may know about the King, it is very clear to us that he was a great judge of Renaissance art and technology, both of which were embodied in the person of Leonardo da Vinci. The mansion sits in a beautiful park-like setting on a hill overlooking Amboise. Our tour of it took several hours and was worth every minute. Not only was it beautifully furnished and appointed, but it also contained small models of many of Leonardo's inventions. And large sized model of some of these were displayed on the grounds. We devote a whole page of photos to these models, and another page to the rest of the house.
  While we toured the grounds we encountered a class of young male students from an English school who were there on a class trip along with their teacher.  Now that is what we call a great class trip!  Not like anything we experienced when we were their age.
As a special treat for us, we were able to go to a Sunday open-air market in town, right on the bank of the Loire. That one ranks among the best we ever visited. We provide a page of photos of that as well as a Slideshow of all the photos. 
Tourist office      Map     Letter
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Intrepid Traveler
Photos of:
Clos Luce
Da Vinci Models
Sunday Market
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