Visit Amboise by Mouse
) , 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
, 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.