cannot visit the town of
and its impressive chateau without also visiting
Clos-luce, where you will learn, in a well presented indoor and
off the last years of Leonardo de Vinci (1516-1519) surprisingly spent
here in the
Shortly after his patron Giuliano died in 1516, Leonardo had been enticed here by the arts loving Francois I with the
promise of a pension and comfortable residence. Few demands were put
on him other than to be available for intellectual conversation,
otherwise he was ”free to think, dream and work”. Leonardo
had crossed the
on a mule carrying with him some of his precious artwork including the
Mona Lisa – which explains why it hangs in
"Art is never finished, only abandoned." Leonardo de Vinci
of the manor house dates back to the 12th century when it was
surrounded by fortifications of which only the watchtower remains. The
as it is today, a good example of Renaissance art using both brick
the local tufa stone, was built in the late 1400’s and had various owners
before Charles VIII bought it and turned it into a royal residence,
perhaps for his and future king’s mistresses.
being saved from the Revolution by the
family it went through a period of stability where its only enemies were
the passing years. Major restoration works started in the 1960’s to
return it to the condition it would have been in during Leonardo’s time
there, returning the interior to its Renaissance style.
Now you can catch a glimpse of the private life of this illustrious
man as you visit his bedroom, his kitchen and his study, as well as
the small chapel displaying frescoes by his disciples. Its
extraordinary to think that this was probably Leonardo's only real
home during his lifetime - even if it was only to be for a few
underground rooms hold a display of models and artefacts bestowing the
genius of the great man. Even without flashing
lights the children should be distracted enough for you to stand in
awe as you think you are standing in the house where Leonardo spent
his last moments, though unfortunately they cant get their hands on
An interactive area would be a good idea.
This is also carried on out
into the gardens where life-sized models have been created.
It is fitting that the grounds are used as a practical museum to the
great thinker as it was by observing nature that many of his ideas
The gardens themselves have a rich display of attractions.
There is also an
audio-visual hall within them showing his work
and history on a large screen and displays --with commentary giving
an insight into his imaginative world.
Also within the grounds there is a playground for the kids plus picnic
areas if you don't wish to use the eating options on site.
You get to the house by proceeding down Rue Victor-Hugo from the chateau and past some troglodyte homes for about 400mtrs.There are different options for eating at the house or you can wander back to the many fine restaurants in town.
|High season 1st March to
|Low season 16th Nov.
Its a bit pricey but they do offer family tickets and concessions, check out their
official site - link below:
Very informative blogpost
Very good blogpost on the gardens