Thursday, September 11, 2014


We had a fairly leisurely morning, deciding to visit Ambois today to see the home where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last 3 years, Chateau du Clos Luce.  Built in 1471, it is situated in the pleasant valley of the Amasse, a little tributary of the Loire and surrounded by a vast green and shady park where models of da Vinci's imagination are displayed.  Francois I, of Chambord fame, held Leonardo in high esteem and appointed him "First painter, architect and engineer" of the King.  He made his residency available to him, as well as a princely allowance of 700 gold ecus a year, and financed his works, only asking in return for the pleasure of hearing him talk and allowing him the freedom to dream and to work.

This is one of several troglodyte homes we saw along the way to Clos Luce.

Leonardo's home was beautiful in every way--open and light, and beautifully furnished.  In the basement were models of his inventions and videos showing how they worked.

Before walking through the park-like garden, we took a break.  I had a mushroom and cheese omelet and Chuck had an apricot crepe.  Both were delicious and as we sat and relaxed in the terrace cafe on the grounds, we viewed the Royal Chateau with the sun on our backs.

Clos Luce with model of a helicopter  (Aerial Screw)

The garden is very shady and very relaxing and quiet.  We have noticed that people speak in very low voices, almost as if we are in a library.  It's very nice.  At certain spots in the garden, classical music is played and there are several places where you can push a button for the language you wish, and you can hear "Leonardo" speaking his thoughts.

This inn was once the Priory, an exquisite manor from the 16th century.

 Leonardo's tank.  The video showing how it worked was really something.

Leonardo's vegetable and flower garden.

I can't say enough about our visit here.  We spent over 3 hours in the house and garden and enjoyed every minute.  It wasn't crowded and the weather was perfect, as usual.

We took a nice stroll through the town, with the help of a walking tour map put out by the Tourist Information.  It's a lovely place with beauty everywhere you turn.

This shows a portion of the Royal Chateau which overlooks the Loire river.


Back home, another view of our cottage

La Piscine


No comments: