The Loire Valley Sights

Château d'Amboise

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Fodor's Review

The Château d'Amboise became a royal palace in the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles VII stayed here, as did the unfortunate Charles VIII, best remembered for banging his head on a low doorway lintel (you will be shown it) and dying as a result. The gigantic Tour des Minimes drops down the side of the cliff, enclosing a massive circular ramp designed to lead horses and carriages up the steep hillside. François I, whose long nose appears in so many château paintings, based his court here, inviting Leonardo da Vinci as his guest. The castle was also the stage for the Amboise Conspiracy, an ill-fated Protestant plot against François II; you're shown where the corpses of the conspirators dangled from the castle walls. Partly due to the fact that most interior furnishings have been lost, most halls here are haunted and forlorn. The maze of underground passages are opened to the public for guided visits (April–September). While exploring the grounds, don't miss the little chapel of St-Hubert; built in the 1490s, this Flamboyant Gothic gem is fronted by a glorious tympanum, adorned with carvings, and graced by a tomb that's said to contain the remains of Leonardo. Audio guides are available for €4.

Sight Information

Address:

Amboise, 37530, France

Phone:

/02–47–57–00–98

Sight Details:

  • €10.70
  • Feb., daily 9–12:30 and 1:30–5; Mar. and Nov. 1–15, daily 9–5:30; Apr.–June, daily 9–6:30; July and Aug., daily 9–7; Sept. and Oct., daily 9–6; mid-Nov.–Jan., daily 9–12:30 and 2–4:45

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