Château Royal d’Amboise - History and Facts | History Hit

Château Royal d’Amboise

Amboise, Loire Valley, France

Lily Johnson

19 May 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Château Royal d’Amboise

Château Royal d’Amboise is a large château situated in France’s Loire Valley, which from the 15th to the 16th centuries was a favourite royal residence of the French monarchy. With a host of famous visitors over its 500-year history, Château d’Amboise hides countless intriguing features – including the resting place of legendary painter Leonardo da Vinci.

Château Royal d’Amboise history

Château d’Ambroise first came into the possession of the French monarchy in the 15th century when it was confiscated from Louis d’Amboise for his role in a plot against the Crown.

Charles VII then undertook a vast rebuild of the château in the French late Gothic Flamboyant style, with some of the first Renaissance decorative motifs in the country also appearing amongst its architecture.

King Francis I was raised at Amboise and over his lifetime welcomed many esteemed guests through his doors, including Leonardo da Vinci who became a great friend to the king, and was interred in the Collegiate Church of Saint Florentin at the chateau following his death in 1519.

In 1515 Anne Boleyn entered the household of Francis’ wife Queen Claude and spent 7 years as her lady in waiting at Château d’Amboise and Château de Blois. During this time she became well-versed in the courtly game of love, and when she returned to the English court in 1522 she presented herself as a charismatic, fashionable, and charming courtier, quickly catching the eye of Henry VIII.

Mary, Queen of Scots also spent 13 years of her life at Château d’Amboise following her betrothal to the French heir Francis II, moving to the royal court aged 5 under the watchful eye of Henry II and Catherine de’ Medici.

Château Royal d’Amboise today

Today Château d’Amboise is open to the public and remains a stunning Renaissance palace, with visitors able to walk in the footsteps of some of Europe’s most famous historical figures.

Dozens of ornate rooms may be explored, as well as the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci in the Saint-Hubert Chapel, and a host of underground passages, adding to the intrigue of Château d’Amboise’s fascinating history!

Hour-long tours may be taken around the site, with interactive exhibits also available to further enrich explorations of its vibrant past.

In summer a spectacular show titled ‘The Prophecy of Amboise’ takes place a the château, where 250 performers and equestrian stuntmen are joined by a host of striking projections across Amboise’s exterior, bringing to life the sumptuous and extravagant court of Charles VIII.

Getting to Château Royal d’Amboise

Château d’Amboise is located 25km east of Tours in the town of Amboise. From the A10, take the Amboise exit followed by the D31, then the N152 for 15 km. From the A28, take the Tours-Sud interchange in the direction of the A85, from which take the Bléré-Amboise-Chenonceau exit, followed by the D31 in the direction of Amboise. Free parking is available a 5-minute walk away at Parking Des Tannuers.

Tours/St. Pierre-des-Corps train station is 20km from the château and is linked by SNCF trains to Amboise station, while direct trains also run from Paris/Austerlitz station to Amboise. Amboise station is then a 17-minute to the site.

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