Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Clos Luce & Chateau D'Amboise

Last Saturday I continued my chateau viewing by visiting the village of Amboise with Ayumi. We took the train from Tours to Amboise. It couldn't have been easier. Around noon, we walked to the train station in Tours. We bought tickets for the next train leaving for Amboise, which departed about 20 minutes later. The train was already waiting in the station. It took maybe 20 minutes to get to Amboise (2 or 3 stops inbetween). We bought "open" tickets so that we could return to Tours anytime we wanted in the afternoon. C'est facile!
In addition to a chateau, Amboise is home to Clos Luce - the last home of Leonardo Da Vinci. He was invited to live in France by the king, Francois I. Leonardo and a few of his students traveled from Italy to France by mule. Leonardo brought with him three of his favorite paintings, one of them being the Mona Lisa. He lived at Clos Luce from 1516 until his death in 1519.
Clos Luce
After Clos Luce and some lunch at the local creperie, we headed to the chateadu. Along the walk from Clos Luce to the chateau, one can see ancient homes that are built into the side of the hill that the chateau is perched on.

Chateau d'Amboise

The chateau is known for being a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The first wing and chapel were built in the Gothic style. The second wing, shown here, was built in the Renaissance style. Both wings are similar except for the architecture around the dormer windows.

The St. Hubert Chapel (Gothic style) was completed under Charles VIII and dedicated to the patron saint of hunting. It was built for the royal family's private use and is also where Leonardo Da Vinci was buried.


Ayumi and I atop the Minimes Tower at the chateau

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