3 Days in the Loire Valley: Château Clos Lucé and Leonardo Da Vinci

On a three-day visit to the Loire Valley, my friend Nancy McGee and I made up our itinerary along the way. Nancy, destination guide “extraodinare” of Absolutely Southern France, was on vacation. That meant no set schedule, just a home base near Amboise. 

After seeing Château Amboise which is in the middle of the town of Amboise, Nancy and I walked a short distance to tour Château Clos Lucé.

Château Clos Lucé in Amboise

Château Clos Lucé in Amboise


The chateau was built in the fifteenth century by Hugues d’Amboise. It was acquired by Charles VIII for his wife, Anne de Bretagne. Later, it was used by Francis I who invited Leonardo Da Vinci to stay and work there. Da Vinci remained at the chateau until his death in May 1519. It is now a museum dedicated to the memory and inventions of the master artist and inventor.


Workshop of Leonardo da Vinci at Chateau Clos Luce

Workshop of Leonardo da Vinci at Chateau Clos Luce


Da  Vinci was already well-known for his artistic achievements, as well as his scientific and innovative ideas. Recognizing da Vinci’s genius, it is possible that King Francis I saw an opportunity to have a brilliant mind in close proximity, which could potentially benefit his court and kingdom.

Also, as a patron of the arts and sciences, and driven by genuine respect for da Vinci’s abilities, the king may have invited Da Vinci to live in France as a way to gain access to his expertise. For whatever reason, Château du Clos Lucé offers visitors a glimpse into the mind of one of history’s greatest geniuses, highlighting Leonardo da Vinci’s lasting impact on art, science, and innovation.

Here’s Château Clos Lucé … enjoy!

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Categories: Amboise, Around France, Blog

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38 replies »

  1. I see your page is in the same niche like my site.
    Do you allow guest posts? I can write hi quality and unique content for you.

    Let me know if you are interested.

  2. Bonjour, Deborah. We are enjoying every minute of your blog, especially since we didn’t make it to the Loire valley due to our “detention” in Belgium. I like seeing the pictures along with the blog text as opposed to a youtube video. See you tomorrow! Trudy

  3. Thanks for sharing! I was in Amboise briefly on a tour and didn’t make it to Chateau Clos Luc. I prefer the embedded pictures and the you tube slide show. Thanks!!!

    • Thank you, Stacy. Wasn’t Amboise gorgeous?! Clos Luce was much smaller and not so grand, but the da Vinci museum was well worth the visit. I’m going to have to go back. There’s so much more to see of the Loire Valley. Thanks for your “vote,” too.

  4. I’ll go with photos first, then photos & imbedded slideshow (not having seen one). YouTube – no. Prefer it direct and simple and in the email.

    • I really appreciate your input. I’ll be certain to choose the best photos for the post, then add others in a slideshow if needed. Thanks for following!

  5. Your blog brings France back to life! Your posts are so rich in history! We’ve traveled several regions (départments) since 2004 but haven’t been able to get there in the last couple of years. Can’t wait for the next post! Keep doing what you’ve been doing, adding a video when the mood strikes!

    • Thank you so much, Cynthia. Isn’t France the best?! There’s so much to see and so much to learn. It’s like opening a history book every time you walk out the door. I’m starting on the post about the last chateau visited along the Loire Valley trip. Hope you enjoy it … and please let me hear from you about when you’ll return to France.

  6. I’m partial to the still photos, but having links to slideshows in another format is always a bonus! I generally read your Blog with map at hand and then read it once again to fully appreciate the photos. You are quite good at capturing the subtle, overlooked details.

    • I saw an exhibit of David Hockney’s in Arles last year. He talked about capturing in photos the things that catch your eye when you walk out n a room,etc. I thought that was an interesting concept. Now I use it a lot. That’s why I’m ending up with so many photos within the same subject. Perhaps that’s a thought. Put the big picture photos in the post and add a slideshow with the little details. Thanks! I’ll try that. Really appreciate your thoughts and time to comment.

    • You’re so kind. I probably love the photo part of blogging as much as writing. You know I’m doing this all so that I’ll have good stories and photos to remind me of this life when I’m in an old folk’s home! Thank you for taking time to respond!

  7. I would just say whatever is easiest for you, the blogger. I know how time consuming doing trip blogs are and uploading photos etc. Your photos are wonderful and I love seeing them in your posts.

    • I hear ya! Sometimes it’s easier to include a lot of photos rather than narrow them down. I’m not always sure what people like. Looks like most I’ve heard from like both photos in the post and an embedded slideshow. Guess it’ll depend on how many good photos there are to share. Thanks for your input and for following!

  8. Hi Deborah

    We are currently in France at our place at Cabrieres d’Aigues. We have been enjoying reading about your Loire valley trip. It has brought back many fond memories.

    As for our vote re: photos. I was unable to make the embedded slideshow work (perhaps because when we are away from our home in Canada, I view my emails in a web browser only- i.e. I don’t have an actual email app). So my vote would be to continue what you had been doing.

    A la prochaine Maria Styacko & Gord Stewart

    • Hi there, Maria. So glad to hear from you. If the embedded slideshow doesn’t slow down your download, perhaps it’s OK to still do the photos in the post, and include a slideshow too. That way, you can look at more photos if you wish when you’re close to a good internet connection. Thanks for the input! Hope to see you!

  9. I love the format you have been doing. Your photos are terrific and I’m learning so much about France.

    Marge Kennedy

  10. I prefer the ” combo” option – some pictures and narrative plus slide show. As Rich said, it’s more controllable. The only advantage I saw with UTube was the ability to choose full screen. Beautiful pics!

    • Thanks, Paula. Another good thing about the embedded slide show is that you can download the photos, even if you can’t enlarge them in the presentation. Thanks for your feedback. You’re always so good to comment and I really appreciate it!

  11. Hi Deborah, I agree with Rich…and the photos are luscious! One more area to explore in France. So many places, so little time…but we’re working on it!

  12. I prefer embedded slide show within the blog. I love your photos and learning about interesting small towns in France!

  13. Deborah fantastic and the embedded slide show seems to work best for me as you have the choice of the slides timing and can spend a little more time watching the ones you like best. Looks like you once again had a fun trip.

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