Amboise Tourist Attractions
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.
The town, recorded in Roman and Merovingian times under the name of Vicus Ambaciensis, passed from the control of the French kings into the hands of the Counts of Anjou, and from the 12th century until 1431 it was the seat of the Anjou family. When Louis d'Amboise fell into disfavor with King Charles VII, however, the town was confiscated by the crown. Thereafter the Château was enlarged and sumptuously decorated as befitted a royal residence. Leonardo da Vinci died here in 1519. In 1560, in the Conspiracy of Amboise, a group of Huguenots called for freedom of worship and tried to counter the influence of the Catholic family of Guise on King Francis II. The plot miscarried and the conspirators were ruthlessly punished; it is said that 1,200 of their supporters were hanged from the iron railings on the balcony of the Château. In 1563, however, the Edict of Amboise granted the Huguenots limited freedom of worship.