[2016 is the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s arrival in Amboise, so it is fitting to share with you information about where he lived and worked, Château du Clos Lucé]
What town or country do you associate with “Leonardo da Vinci”? Bet you don’t think of France. You should because da Vinci lived in the Loire Valley at Château de Cloux, now known as Château du Clos Lucé from 1516 to 1519 after being invited by the King of France. He worked here until his death on May 2, 1519. Leonardo da Vinci was not only a painter and sculptor, but he was also an inventor, engineer, and visionary and it is at Clos Lucé, also known as the Leonardo da Vinci Museum, where you will really discover the genius. I highly recommend a visit.
Château du Clos Lucé
I visited on a beautiful spring day and did not spend a lot of time in the chateau (built in 1471). I found being outside, walking amongst the recreated inventions, most enjoyable. There are 20 life size models that have been scattered throughout the gardens and park. Leonardo da Vinci’s work and inventions are certainly brought to life. It’s basically an open-air museum. Children will also find the park interesting as many of the inventions are interactive. Here are some highlights:
Yes, this is a tank, like the kind used in wars, just not quite the tank as we know it today. There were openings on all sides and it was mobile. Leonardo da Vinci was known as a military engineer and he also had some of the first designs for machine guns and catapults.
It’s 12 meters wide.
Inside The Chateau
Don’t forget to visit inside the chateau where you will see his bedchamber (with a reproduction of the Mona Lisa), the large salons and the kitchen, located in the basement. The basement also houses many of his drawings and models of his inventions that you saw outside.
App: There is a free, informative app in English and French that gives information about the artist and château and animated examples of some of Vinci’s inventions.
Location: The Chateau is located just 500 meters from Château d’Amboise in the town of Amboise. So if you are visiting the town’s chateau, be sure to visit Clos Lucé.
Website: Château du Clos Lucé
If you want to learn more about travelling in the Loire Valley, check out these posts: