Friday, October 7, 2011

The Loire Valley: Chateâu d’Amboise

After sharing a quick sandwich in the gardens of Chateâu de Chenonceau, Mr. Man and I head for Amboise—we had dinner here last night at a wonderful restaurant, La Reserve where we were shown to a table in the back (we did not have a reservation) and were soon joined by two other tables of English speakers.  Mr. Man made the mistake of assuming we were all Americans and was quickly corrected; both of the other tables were seated with Canadians. 

We walk the narrow, cobble-stoned streets window shopping.  I swear that I cannot tour another castle, but manage to dip into my reserves and we head for Chateâu d’Amboise.  There is first a set of stairs and then a long ramp to reach the courtyard of the castle.  This isn't as easy as it was six years ago when we were walking and climbing our way through Italy, and I remind myself to start walking more when I get home.

The castle is not as splendid as Chateâu de Chenonceau, but the views over the Loire Valley are lovely and we stand on the tower with the wind whipping our hair (okay, my hair) soaking up the view before moving on.

We start out in the small chapel (St. Hubert chapel) where Leonard da Vinci is buried.  Leonard was invited to Amboise by King Francis I in 1515 and died here in 1519.  The chapel was built by Charles VIII and was reserved for the private use of the royal family.

There are two styles to the castle: the flamboyant Gothic style of the Charles VIII wing (on the left) and the Renaissance style of the Louis XII wing.

Chateâu d’Amboise
Gothic Roof Windows
The Gothic Wing consists of the Guard’s Room, Sentries Walk, Noble Guardsmen’s Room, Drummers Room, which once served as a royal dressing room, and the Council Chamber.

The Sentries' Walk
The Council Chamber
The Renaissance Rooms consist of the Cupbearer’s Room, King Henri II’s Chamber, and the Franciscan Antechamber.

The Cupbearer's Room
King Henri II's Chamber
The Louis-Philippe Rooms—Louis Philippe was given the Chateau d’Amboise by his mother Louise-Marie-Adelaide de Bourbon-Penthievre (now that’s a mouth full)—consist of: The Louis-Philippe Study, Bedchamber, and Music Room.

The Louis-Philippe Study
The Bedchamber
And of course, the garden, which is formal and not really to my taste, but we did delight in taking pictures of what we dubbed the “bubble garden.”

For more pictures of Chateâu d’Amboise click here.

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