The boundless genius of Leonardo Da Vinci found a place of rest and repose in the gardens of Chateau du Clos Luce in Amboise, France. Invited by King Francis I in 1516 to use the mansion and gardens as a place to live and work, Da Vinci packed all of his possessions to make the move. Being a poor man, he brought everything he owned by a small donkey. Included were 3 unfinished paintings – Mona Lisa, Sainte Anne, and Saint Jean Baptiste, which he completed while in residence at the chateau.
Here he lived the final 3 years of his life, surrounded by rose gardens and waterfalls. Today the mansion and grounds are a monument to his incredible foresight and vision. Over 40 models of the various machines he designed are tucked away within the forest, while sketches and drawings of his work can be seen throughout the park-like setting.
It’s possible to see his bedroom, kitchen, study, and the chapels where his students painted. A tiny glimpse into the art and mind of one of the most advanced thinkers this world has ever known. As a civil and military engineer, botanist and artist – Da Vinci’s world was one of wonder and thirst for knowledge. Visiting this magical place where he spent his last years and completed so many masterpieces is to appreciate the scope of Da Vinci’s imagination.
One hour from Paris by the TGV fast train or two hours away by car, the Château du Clos Lucé is located in the middle of the town of Amboise.
Amboise is located in the Loire Valley, 17 miles east of Tours and the closest airport. The town is also home to Chateau d’Amboise, one of the magnificent castles of royal residence along this Valley of the Kings. Hotels range from budget traveler hostels to boutique getaways along the banks of the river Loire.
Tickets to Chateau du Clos Luce Castle can be purchased for 13,50 Euro for adults and 8,50 Euro for children 6-18.