mardi, mai 22, 2007

Château d'Amboise

There are many castles dotting along the banks of the river Loire. I had already visited a few like Chambord, Chenonceau and Chaumont over the years. Last Friday, Seb and I decided to visit Château d'Amboise.

This royal castle was an important place for French kings from mid-15th to mid-16th centuries. On the terraces, we could see the Loire valley below. It was a first where Italian tastes were introduced into the Loire Valley.

I find the entrance fee expensive at 8.50€. The castle used to be bigger but a huge portion was demolished when Louis-Philippe received it.

The photo on the left is the bedchamber of Louis Philippe with Empire-style furnitures. Coincidentally, this is the "in" color for this season and I do like it. However, I doubt Seb allows wall-paper of this color on our new walls.

The whole visit took us about an hour.

In the Saint Hubert Chapel on the castle's ground lied Leonardo da Vinci. He was invited to stay at Amboise by François I. The king was a great patron of Renaissance arts. Da Vinci died in 1519 in the Manor of Cloux (Close Lucé) and was interred, according to his wishes, at the château.

After the castle visit, we drove down to Mont-Louis where we visited the wine yards and wine producers. Mont-Louis produces wine on a small scale. My father-in-law used to get his supplies of Mont-Louis wine from one of these producers. However, the wine yard was passed on to the son and the standard of the wine dropped. We were armed with a mission to buy from different producers each a bottle of 2005 white sec (dry) wine in order to find the right wine to his taste. We only managed to get three different bottles since most of them were closed.

In the evening, the family of 5 became wine tasters and finished the three bottles. Verdict: None pleased the family.

For the next blog, I will try to find old photos of the other castles that I have been to. I find them more impressive than this one.

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