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Amboise is a French commune located in the department of Indre-et-Loire in the district of Loches in the Center-Val de Loire region.

Located on the banks of the Loire, the city owes its fame to the castle of Amboise which dominates it, to the Porte de l'Horloge, to the collegiate church of Saint-Denis, to the Clos Lucé castle where Leonardo da Vinci died, at the royal estate of Château-Gaillard built by Charles VIII in 1496 (including the gardens laid out by Pacello da Mercogliano) and at the pagoda of Chanteloup. Its name is also attached to the bloody “conspiracy of Amboise” of March 1560.

It is one of the eleven wine-growing municipalities in the area of controlled designation of origin (AOC) "Touraine-Amboise".

Amboise is located within the perimeter of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site



Amboise castle
The royal castle of Amboise is a former residence of the King of France overlooking the Loire, in Amboise, in Indre-et-Loire. It is part of the castles of the Loire. Before being attached to the crown in 1434, the castle had belonged, for more than four centuries, to the powerful House of Amboise. During the Renaissance, it served as a residence for several kings, notably Charles VIII, Louis XII or even François I.

It was partially destroyed after the Revolution: from Charles VIII's project, however, the royal residence, the Saint-Hubert chapel, where the presumed remains of Leonardo da Vinci rest, the terraces and the cavalier towers which give the monument this singular silhouette remain. The Château d'Amboise is classified as a historical monument by the 1840 list.

Clos Lucé Castle
The Château du Clos Lucé, formerly called the Manoir du Cloux, is a residence located in France, in the heart of the Loire Valley, in the city center of Amboise. Originally designed in 1471 as a former stronghold under the Château d'Amboise, it passed through several hands before being bought by Charles VIII and becoming a summer residence for the kings of France. He will keep this function until 1516 when François Ier places it at the disposal of Leonardo da Vinci, who will live there for three years, until his death on May 2, 1519.

As the home of Leonardo da Vinci, it is classified as a historic monument by the 1862 list.

The Château du Clos Lucé is today a place of interpretation, knowledge and synthesis which aims to allow the wider public to discover the universe of Leonardo da Vinci.

It has been the property of the Saint Bris family since 1855. François Saint Bris is its director.

Chanteloup Castle (Indre-et-Loire)
The Château de Chanteloup was an eighteenth century castle located in the Loire Valley, more precisely in the heights of the town of Amboise (Indre-et-Loire), which was built on behalf of the Princess of the Ursins, then was considerably embellished and enlarged by the Duc de Choiseul, Minister of Louis XV.

Destroyed in 1823 by property dealers, all that remains of the Chanteloup estate is the Chanteloup pagoda and its park, a historic monument built by Louis-Denis Le Camus on behalf of the Duke of Choiseul in 1775, and open to visitors since the late 1990s by the André family.

After several successive protections (first registration in 1937), the area has been classified as historical monuments since February 26, 1996. This classification includes the west pavilion, the east pavilion and their gates, the gardener's house , the concierge's pavilion and the Chanteloup pagoda and its 20 hectare park. The sugar factory, the terrace and the garden are listed as Historical Monuments.

Saint-Florentin d'Amboise Church
The Saint-Florentin church is one of the two parish churches in the city of Amboise (Indre-et-Loire), located in the old town and at the foot of the royal castle. The Saint-Florentin church has been classified as a historical monument since July 3, 1963.

Clock Tower 14 rue Nationale - Monument classified or listed as historical monuments in France Tower built in the 15th century on an old city gate built earlier. The works, begun in 1495, were completed around 1500. On the ground floor is the 13th century vaulted barrel vault, under which the street passes. Above rise two square storeys, then a four-sided attic which ends in a hexagonal bell tower. On the town side, large mullioned windows light up these floors, access to which is via a turret staircase.



The Châtelliers spur, on which the Château d'Amboise is built, conceals one of the most important Chassean Neolithic sites in the Loire Valley, discovered during excavations carried out by A. and S. Högström between 1954 and 1957. It was discovered in especially a remarkable female idol.

Protohistory and Antiquity: the Châtelliers plateau
The Châtelliers site is continuously occupied during Protohistory and Antiquity. It is documented by more than forty archaeological operations.

The Châtelliers site is continuously occupied during Protohistory and Antiquity. It is documented by more than forty archaeological operations.

The excavations uncovered occupations from the Bronze Age, including a ritual deposit from the end of the period, formerly considered to belong to a foundry's workshop. A first earthen rampart delimits an area of ​​8 ha on the spur, this development perhaps dates from this period or from the Neolithic period.

In the second Iron Age, the spur was occupied by the 50 hectare Châteliers oppidum, closed by a Gallic earthen rampart. At the end of the period, the site could correspond to the capital of the people of the Turones before its transfer to Caesarodunum (Tours).

During the 1st century BC. AD and the first two centuries of our era, the site of Châtelliers corresponds to an important agglomeration. The excavations have brought to light habitats, roads and artisanal structures as well as public monuments, in particular a sanctuary occupied at least from the second half of the 1st century BC. AD The site seems deserted after the 2nd century AD. Sulpice-Sévère, however, reports the destruction of a sanctuary by Martin de Tours (saint), around 374, during his evangelization campaign in Touraine:
“In the village of Amboise (that is to say in the old castle, now inhabited by a large number of monks) we saw a temple of idols built at great expense. It was a tower built of freestone, which rose in the shape of a cone, and the beauty of which maintained idolatry in the country. The holy man had often recommended to Marcel, priest of this place, to destroy it. "
“Having returned some time later, he rebuked him that the temple still existed. The latter pretended that a troop of soldiers and a large crowd of people would hardly manage to overthrow such a mass of stones, and that it was an impossible thing for weak clerics and exhausted monks. So Martin, resorting to his ordinary weapons, spent the whole night in prayer. In the morning a storm arose which overturned the temple of the idol to its foundations. I have this fact from Marcel, who witnessed it. "

The agglomeration undoubtedly then developed on the hillside opposite the promontory, beyond the Amasse marsh (which gave the town its name), around the current Saint-Denis church.

The place is known under the names of Ambatiensis vicus in the 5th century (Sulpice-Sévère, Dialogii, III, 8, 4), of Ambaciensis vicus (Grégoire de Tours, Historia Francorum, II, 35 and X, 31) and of Ambiacensis vicus in 6th century (Grégoire de Tours, De virtutibus sancti Martini, II, 17 and IV, 42).

Middle Ages
At the beginning of the sixth century, permanent rivalries, both territorial and religious, opposed the Salian Franks, Catholics, led by Clovis, who occupied the north of Gaul, and the Visigoths, Arians, led by Alaric II, who occupied it. the Great French South-West. In an attempt to put an end to it, the King of the Ostrogoths, Theodoric the Great, wrote letters to the two protagonists to convince them to come to an agreement. This approach resulted in 504 in a meeting between the two kings which took place on what was at the time the Île Saint-Jean (now the Île d'Or). The two rivals promised each other an eternal alliance which remained a dead letter, since the dispute was only settled by the death of Alaric II at the battle of Vouillé in 507. In 546 the lord of Amboise was Saint Baud, bishop of Tours, without knowing exactly the nature of its dependence on King Clotaire I. Then we no longer have historical information until the middle of the ninth century.


In 840, during the Viking raids, the wooden bridges that crossed the Loire were destroyed. The castle was again ravaged by the men of the north in 853, then in 878. In the last quarter of the ninth century, a certain Aelindis received a dowry from her uncles Adalard (Adalardus), archbishop of Tours from 875 to 890 and Rainon ( Regino), bishop of Angers, the stronghold of Amboise, during his marriage to Ingelger, viscount of Angers. Around 878, at the request of the two prelates, Louis II the Begu had the castle raised and fortified and the bridges rebuilt. At that time, the territory of Amboise was divided into three seigneuries, the most important of which (La Maison consulaire) was that attributed to Ingelger. The second seigneury (known as the Tower) belonged to Sulpice I of Amboise, father of Hugues I of Amboise, future treasurer of the Abbey of Saint-Martin in Tours. The third seigneury (known as de la Motte). These three lords frequently opposed each other, which was hardly favorable to the development of the city of Amboise. Very busy restoring peace in the region, Ingelger entrusted Amboise to Robert, son of Haimo, a powerful man who was loyal to him and who owned part of the fortress by hereditary right.

During the period from 878 to 1107, the two main seigneuries of Amboise coexisted:
in the castle, the counts of Anjou descendants of Ingelger: Foulques Ier, Foulques II, Geoffroy Ier and Foulques Nerra;
in the village, the descendants of Haimon de Buzancais: Sulpice Ier says a thousand shields, Robert, Archambaut and his brother Sulpice II.
On his return from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Foulques Nerra entrusted the guard of the castle to Lisois, whose intelligence and courage he had appreciated at his side. Lisois married Hersende de Buzancais, daughter of Archambaut and niece of Sulpice, thus reuniting the castle and town and creating the house of Amboise.

Joan of Arc passed through Amboise in 1429, while she was on her way to Orleans.

The history of the city is essentially intertwined with that of its castles: the royal castle25 where resides the court of King Charles VIII then of François Ier, the castle of Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci lived and the royal estate de Château-Gaillard, home of master Pacello da Mercogliano, architect of the gardens of the three Renaissance kings. Very attached to the old fortress where he had spent his youth, Charles VIII had decided on the metamorphosis of the royal castle the day after his marriage to Anne of Brittany. Louis XII and, above all, François Ier, who arrived at the Château d'Amboise at the age of four, gave many celebrations there, and continued to renovate the Renaissance home.

In 1434: Louis d'Amboise having been compromised in a plot against Georges I of La Trémoille, favorite of Charles VII, the seigneury of Amboise was confiscated and reunited with the crown.

It was under the immediate successors of Charles VII, Louis XI and Charles VIII that the castle received its main additions.
In 1461, Louis XI, who liked to see himself behind solid walls, willingly made it his residence, but thrifty, he did not spend much to beautify the place. He founded the order of Saint Michael chivalry there on August 1, 1469.
But from 1483 Charles VIII, young and brilliant, whom the spectacles of Italy had impassioned for the arts, without regret changed the gold of the chests of his predecessor in walls and turrets. The castle then became one of the most precious monuments of ancient France.
Admiring the Villa Poggio Reale of Ferdinand the Catholic in Naples, Charles VIII wished to have a comparable residence in Amboise. Thus, on his return from the First Italian War in 1496, he had the royal residence of Château-Gaillard and the King's Gardens built, which he entrusted to the hand of the Neapolitan architect Fra Giocondo and to Pacello da Mercogliano master gardener.
In 1516, François Ier made the Clos-Lucé available to Leonardo da Vinci to allow him to work in peace on his projects. Da Vinci finished painting La Mona Lisa in Amboise. The name of the city is also mentioned on the information sheet of the work at the Louvre. He remained there until his death in 1519.
In 1518, the baptism of the dauphin, François de France, eldest son of François I, was celebrated in the collegiate church of the royal castle on April 25, 1518. The marriage of II de Médicis and Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, descendant of Louis IX, was celebrated in Amboise on May 2, 1518.


In 1539, Charles Quint, who crossed France from south to north, was lodged in the castle, when a fire broke out in the Heurtault tower, where he was staying. This was destroyed, but the emperor is safe.
In 1560 took place the conspiracy of Amboise which heralded the Wars of Religion.
On March 19, 1563, the Peace of Amboise was made there, which granted the Calvinists freedom of conscience.

Second World War
During the Battle of France, from the end of May 1940, Amboise became the crossing point for a continuous stream of refugees fleeing the enemy advance, soon followed by French soldiers who retreated. The residents' solidarity is organized around the Red Cross, making it possible to offer assistance to the most vulnerable and to serve up to 50,000 meals a day.

After the fall of Paris on June 10, the military high command tried to establish a line of resistance on the Loire. On June 16 and 17, enemy planes bombarded the city and in particular destroyed the gendarmerie. On June 17 at 4.30 p.m., the engineers blew up the part of the bridge separating the Île d'Or from the foot of the castle. The defense of the city is ensured by a unit of hunters, reinforced by the regiment of colonial infantry of Morocco (RICM), which withdrew until then in good order, and some other elements.

The first major damage was caused on June 18 by a firing error of the French 155 battery installed at Chanteloup: a shell intended for the attackers set fire to the Penthièvre pavilion of the castle which was completely destroyed. By borrowing the northern part of the bridge which had remained intact, the Germans settled on the Isle of Gold and directed intense fire on the defenders who had taken refuge in the castle. French artillery salvos inflicted considerable losses on the German convoys, but could not prevent the crossing by boats of the Loire upstream, near Chargé. Despite fierce resistance from its defenders, the city fell on June 19 in the late afternoon.

The damage inflicted by the fighting mainly affected the castle and surrounding buildings in the city and on the Île d'Or: the Saint-Hubert chapel was seriously damaged, roofs gutted, towers and terraces riddled with impacts, several houses badly damaged . From June 20, the Germans installed a boat bridge, replaced in July by a wooden footbridge and a ferry. During the Occupation, a camp of 600 prisoner soldiers was set up at a place called "Goose's Foot".