Amboise Tourist Attractions

Amboise town and ChateauAmboise town and Chateau

The old town of Amboise lies 25km/15mi east of Tours on the left bank of the Loire, which here flows around the long, narrow Ile St-Jean. To the south, between the Loire and the Cher, extends a large area of forest.

Amboise Château

Only part of the Amboise Château, which was originally four times its present size, has been preserved. On the north side, facing the river, the building is supported by massive buttresses, above which rises the richly articulated facade of the Château with the iron railings of the balcony, flanked by two imposing round towers, the Tour des Minimes (with a spiral ramp up which horses could be ridden) and the Tour Hurtault.
Southeast of the Château of Amboise is the manor house of Clos-Lucé, in which Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years. In the basement are models of machines and machinery constructed on the basis of his drawings. From the cellar of Clos-Lucé an underground passage once ran to the Château of Amboise, 500 meters away.
Address: BP 371, F-37400 Amboise, France

Gardens

On the north side of the terrace are the two surviving wings, at right angles to one another, of the Logis du Roi (King's Lodging). The wing parallel to the river is Gothic, the other one Renaissance. The difference in style is clearly seen in the form of the dormer windows. In the Salle des Gardes are arms and armor, Aubusson tapestries and Gothic furniture, in the Renaissance wing more tapestries and Gothic and Renaissance furniture. Visitors can also see the large Salle de Justice, in which the Huguenot conspirators were tried and condemned, and the Balcon des Conjurés, where many of them were hanged. The gardens and terraces of the Château are also worth seeing.

Chapelle St Hubert

The Chapelle St-Hubert in Amboise, which stands on the curtain wall, was built around 1491 by Charles VIII and his wife Anne de Bretagne. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture. On the doorway is a relief representation of the legend of St Hubert, and in the tympanum is a 19th C figure of the Virgin flanked by Charles and Anne. The roof and roof turrets were restored in the 19th C. In the left-hand transept is a tablet commemorating Leonardo da Vinci, who is believed to have been buried here.

Lower Town

In the lower town is the 16th century Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), which houses a small museum (manuscripts, pictures, etc). Opposite the museum is the 15th century church of St-Florentin, with a Renaissance steeple. On the Loire embankment is an unusual fountain (1968) by Max Ernst, who lived for many years in France.

St Denis

The church of St-Denis, on the outskirts of the town of Amboise to the southeast, is a fine example of Romanesque architecture with Angevin features. It has finely decorated capitals and contains the marble tomb (16th century) with what is said to be a likeness of "la belle Babou", a mistress of Francis I. In the Forêt d'Amboise, a former hunting reserve of the French kings to the south of the town, is the 44m/144ft high Pagode de Chanteloup, built in the late 18th century - all that remains of a large Baroque Château which was built in 1715 but later demolished and used as rubble.

Parc de la Pagode de Chanteloup

The sole remaining part of this garden is a charming chinoiserie pagoda.
Address: Route de Bléré, F-37403 Amboise, France
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