Renaissance

the chateau series: amboise

Posted on

We have been missing in action… a lot has been going on! We’re planning our next trip… FINALLY! We are off to New Zealand in September – but that’s not what this post is about.

Sharing with you the 6th chateau (and third last) in the series:

Amboise

IMG_2546

Majestically located, looking down on the town of Amboise and Loire River, this fortress (or chateau) was a palace during the Renaissance. From the outside, you can clearly see why. It’s location provided security for the royal family (at least when they were staying there).

IMG_2522

It allowed great visibility of the dangers below and any incoming threats via the river.

IMG_2518IMG_2521

Once inside the grounds, the first thing we visit is St Hubert Chapel – the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci who died in Amboise in May 1519. This small chapel was crowded with visitors and also was a spot for refuge as the rain came down on the day we were there.

IMG_2516

Again, as with the other chateaus we have shared – from room to room, we spot the necessary large fireplaces, the token suit of armour(s) and the colourful furniture.

IMG_2528 IMG_2530

This particular 18th Century chair (with an identical one on the other side of the fire place) caught our attention. The image and colours were just delightful to look at.

IMG_2531

This was actually the cavalier ramp designed to allow horses and carriages to reach the towers from the town.

IMG_2534

Nowadays, you can’t enter that way, it’s the way to exit the chateau – spiralling all the way from the top to the bottom and spitting us out on the street.

This wasn’t really a memorable chateau for us, it felt a little cold and impersonal. And we felt outside was more of the wow-factor than the inside.

Amboise is approximately 24 km east of Tours and about a 10 minute walk from Clos du Luce

Have you visited Amboise? What did you think of it?

We welcome your comments.

Advertisements

the chateau series: azay-le-rideau

Posted on

In Part 2, let’s share:

Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau

Was it extravagant? YES

Was it original? YES

Was it impressive? YES

But in saying all that, this was probably our least favourite of the chateaux we visited. And not because it wasn’t gorgeous to look at – just in comparison to the others we saw… it wasn’t AS “WOW”.

To be fair, we were there in miserable weather so we not able to explore as much of the gardens as we would’ve liked.

So upon paying the entry fee and walking out of the ticket office… we walk down the tree-lined paths and before us stands an example of early Renaissance architecture, positioned beautifully in front of lake.

IMG_2352

Yeah, okay … it is pretty WOW.

Enter the doors to ascend the grand staircases, which is an example of one of the first French examples of staircases which are straight and not spiral. Knowing this little pieced of information is rather exciting for us. We do walk up them slowly to soak up the experience.

IMG_2358

At the top, we enter the great attic and look up to the ceilings. The original timberwork (dating back to 1550s) is overhead- and it is basically like an upturned ark. The crowds in this room suggests it is a main feature and possibly the drawcard.

IMG_2360

Then the remaining parts of the chateau is like looking back into the “everyday” living quarters.

The study:

IMG_2362

The very fancy four-poster in the bedchamber:

IMG_2363

The salon which welcomes guests. It is open and inviting especially the rather plush-looking seating. Portraits adorning the red matching walls.

IMG_2366

This particular dresser caught our attention – with the intricate level of detail on each draw.

IMG_2367

IMG_2368 IMG_2369

Lastly, anyone for a game of billiards? On those back walls hang large tapestries of a hunting scene. Very fitting for the entertainment room, maybe in those days anyway 😉

IMG_2371

When we were done inside, it was time to pop outside and check out the view from behind.

IMG_2380

Yeah, alright then! So it is extraordinarily fancy but some more impressive chateaus are still  on their way.

Have you visited this chateau?

If you have been here, tell us what you thought here or just leave us a comment.

Azay-le-Rideau is 23 km west of Tours. There is only one admission fee for the residence as well as the grounds.