cannot visit the town of
and its impressive chateau without also visiting nearby
Clos-luce, where you will learn, in a well presented indoor and
outdoor exhibition, off the last years of Leonardo de Vinci (1516-1519) surprisingly spent
here in Amboise in the LoireValley.
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 Alps
on a mule carrying with him some of his precious artwork including the
Mona Lisa – which explains why it hangs in Paris
and not Rome.
"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 Amboise
family Clos Luce 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 can't get their hands on
I enjoyed the company of Leonardo so much that he had a tunnel built
between the Château d’Amboise and the Château du Clos Lucé so he
might visit easily and discreetly. The entrance to the tunnel can be
seen in the current ‘model room’ of the Clos Lucé.
Examples of his
inventiveness carry 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 the grounds 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
Luce, ‘La Table du Moulin’ offers a choice of mixed salads, grills,
desserts and homemade sandwiches, paninis and French fries.‘La
Terrasse Renaissance’ – Crêperie offers breakfasts, lunches and
snacks throughout the day, on the Renaissance terrace.
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: