In the city of Amboise, you will visit of course the Royal Château. But do not miss the Clos Luce (walking distance).
In 1516, the King of France, Francois 1er, invited Leonardo da Vinci to stay in this tiny château. The Château du Clos Lucé was purchased by Charles VIII on 2nd July 1490, and became the summer residence of the Kings of France, who lived in the Loire Valley at the Château d’Amboise.
Charles VIII transformed the Medieval fortress into a charming château and had a chapel built for the Queen, Anne of Brittany, who mourned the loss of her young children there.
Later, the young Duke of Angoulême, the future Francis I, organised tournaments in the gardens at Le Clos Lucé. His sister, Marguerite of Navarre, wrote the stories of the “Heptaméron” there. Brother and sister received visits from painters, architects and poets, and brought the place alive with the spirit of the Renaissance.
It was in 1516 that Francis I, advised by his sister Marguerite de Navarre, issued an invitation to Leonardo da Vinci.
“ Here you will be free to dream, to think and to work”. This was how the King of France welcomed the Italian genius, who crossed the Alps on a mule, bringing with him three of his most important works: The Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Saint John the Baptist, that he finished here, at the Château du Clos Lucé.
The King gave him a pension (salary).The only thing the King wanted, was to be abble to listen and talk with Leonardo. He loved the genius and was impressed by his imagination.
Leonardo died there in 1519.
In our days, the visit of the château is much more about the work of Leonardo. The furniture is not the real one, but only dated the same period.
The park is awesome. The inventions are displayed in the nature. What a good time to spend there if it is not too crowded…
You will imagine the presence of Leonardo da Vinci everywhere.
Château du Clos-Lucé Parc Léonardo Da Vinci
2 rue du Clos Lucé – 37400 Amboise
Tél. : +33 (0)2 47 57 00 73