Located half way between Orléans and Tours, the little city of Amboise has played a great part in French history, particularly during the Renaissance era. The magnificent castle of Amboise is one of the many chateaux bordering the Loire river, all listed in the UNESCO World Heritage including Chambord, Chenonceau or Azay-le-Rideau.
The chateau was built on the foundations of an old fortress, its position perched high on a promontory over looking the Loire, offering a solid defence against any intruders. The chateau was seized by Charles VII in the mid 1400’s after its owner, Louise d’Amboise was involved in a plot against the monarchy. He was later to be pardoned but the chateau remained in the hands of the king.
Birthplace of the French Renaissance, the Château d’Amboise, built in the 15th and 16th centuries for the kings Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I, towers majestically over the Loire River and the slate roofs of the houses in the old town of Amboise. The royal residence is home to a prestigious collection of Gothic and Renaissance furniture. Highlights of the castle tour are the Salle du Conseil, the Salle des Tambourineurs (drummers’ hall) and the Empire apartments. After exploring the interior, visitors should head for the gardens and terrace, which offer a fantastic view of the Loire Valley. Built onto the ramparts is Saint-Hubert chapel, a magnificent example of Flamboyant Gothic art that contains the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.