King François I, Leonardo da Vinci and 45 mini-châteaux
François I and Leonardo da Vinci… Both chose to reside at length in Amboise... and they certainly had good taste!
François I, the aesthete and builder, spent the greater part of his youth and the early part of his reign here. He held feast after feast in his château.
Just nearby, another personality awaits our visit: the great Leonardo da Vinci. The painter of the Mona Lisa was invited by François I and spent the last years of his life at Le Clos Lucé. Visitors to his château can discover the paintings and inventions of this multifaceted genius.
Just 5km from there, Amboise boasts another amazing monument, the Pagoda of Chanteloup. This 44-metre high conical tower ordered by the Duke of Choiseul in 1775 offers a marvellous view of the Loire Valley.
If you don’t have a head for heights, however, another possibility might be the Mini-Châteaux Theme Park. Set in 2 hectares of landscaped grounds with 2,000 miniature trees (bonsais) there are 45 models of the most beautiful châteaux of the Loire on a scale of 1 to 30.
From 10.70 €
The chateau became a royal residence under the reign of Charles VIII and François I.
Its renown attracted numerous European artists including Leonardo da Vinci, whose tomb is to be found at the château.
From 14 €
Leonardo da Vinci park Tour of Leonardo da Vinci’s house with its Renaissance rooms, frescoes by his disciples and 40 fabulous machines. A voyage of discovery along a landscaped walk with its 18 giant machines, 8 listening points and 40 translucent canvasses (mid March l mid Nov.). (...)