The Amboise Castle is amongst the most visited of the Loire Valley Castles. It is located close to the Clos Lucé Mansion in the heart of the town of Amboise in the Loire Valley, just 190 kilometres from Paris. The terraces of the castle offer magnificent panoramic views over the Loire Valley which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The original mediaeval fortress belonged to the d’Amboise family for 400 years. But at the end of the fifteenth century, Charles VIII who was born at Amboise undertook huge building works and transformed it into a royal residence which would later house several kings and queens of France. He built the Charles VII wing in the gothic style, the chapel of Saint-Hubert, the two knights’ towers (the Tower of the Minimes and the Heurtault Tower) and landscaped the gardens. His successor Louis XII built a second wing in the Renaissance style.
In the sixteenth century François I put the castle at the centre of political and artistic life; he and his 10,000 courtiers spent some weeks there every year. Following numerous demolitions, particularly during the Revolution, the monument is only a fifth of its original size. A visit to the castle and royal apartments gives you a glimpse into the everyday life of the royal family. The chapel of Saint-Hubert houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci who painted the Mona Lisa which hangs in the Louvre. A visit to the Amboise Castle is just one part of Pariscityvision.com ‘s Mont-Saint-Michel and Châteaux Country 3 days tour.