Monday, October 10, 2011

Amboise and Amboise Chateau

We arrived at Amboise just in time for lunch. A little orientation walk in the town before we had lunch on our own.

We had salad for lunch and it came in fairly big portion.

We explore more of the town and there seems to be some festivity going on with the flags and buntings.

The Amboise Chateau is right in the heart of town but it involves a walk up a steep road to reach the gate.

There is another steep walk up a ramp after the gate and a small chapel appears on the left with the chateau on the right.

The chateau is a union of two architectural styles, the French Gothic on the left wing and the Italian Renaissance on the right wing. A close up of the Gothic roof window and the Renaissance roof window.

There was also some celebration going on as many were dressed in  traditional costumes.

The chapel is the St. Hubert Chapel, named after the patron saint of hunting as you may guess by the facade.

The interior of the chapel is also quite well decorated with some modern stained-glass windows.

The chapel is most famous as herein lies the grave of Leornado da Vinci since he died in Amboise.

The house where he worked is visible some distance away and it is also a tourist site. (Hope this is the right one that I zoomed in.)

A guided tour of the chateau followed. First was the Gothic wing. From the sentry, there is a good view of the Loire River below.

And also that of the tower with its gargoyles.

The inside views of some of the rooms in the Gothic wing.

The rooms in the Renaissance wing are without the Gothic arches and more cozy.

From the Minimes Tower you get another commanding view of the Loire River and the surrounding area.

Finally back on the ground, we walked around the well-groomed garden

with the bust of Leornado da Vinci (who else?) in the middle

and a distinctive Cedar of Lebanon tree near the end of the garden.

On the way back to our coach for the ride to our hotel at Tours, we walked along the River Loire itself, a perfect ending to the visit of the Loire Valley. Note the shallowness of the river.

 Ronald Kwok

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