Amboise is a city of about 11 thousand residents, inhabited since the first century BC in Val de Loire. Today it is famous for its royal castles and many personalities, including its most distinguished resident, Leonardo Da Vinci.
Invited by Francis I, King of France, Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life in Castle Clos Lucé, where he was entirely dedicated to his inventions and projects to the king. According to his wish, he is buried in the Amboise Castle, at Chapelle Saint-Hubert.
Visiting CHATEAU AMBOISE means to go back in time when there were kings and know the history of France. It was a pretty special moment, I saw snow for the first time. I could see the whole city and the river with snowflakes falling down and covering everything.
However, the most interesting part of the city is 400m away, at CHATEAU CLOS LUCÉ (from 1471), within Leonardo Da Vinci Park. Today it is a museum where you can find out about the routine of this Italian master, visit his bedroom, his office, the Renaissance rooms and the chapel, as well as 40 of his inventions concerning military engineering, urbanism, mechanics, flying machines and hydraulics. In the Model room there are 3D exhibits that help us understand how the creations work.
Outside the castle there is an amazing world to be explored. It starts with a scenic tour and the explanation about Da Vinci’s work with nature interventions and some of his life-size projects, passing by Eiffel Hall with temporary expositions and finally Leonardo’s Garden, where he got inspired and made his drawings.
Amboise and Val de Loire are filled with attractions worth a good stay, I really want to go back in spring to see the gardens full of flowers and fly over the castles in a balloon.
Check the official tourism website.
CHATEAU AMBOISE has guided tours and is open all year round, except on Jan 1st and Dec 25th. It costs € 10,00 and the hours vary according to the months, check the website.
LEONARDO DA VINCI PARK is also open all year round, but the complete tour is from March to November. It costs € 8,50 and is free from 2 to 3 pm, check the opening hours on the website.
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
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