The royal Chéteau at Amboise is a chéteau located in Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France.
Built on a promontory overlooking the Loire River to control a strategic ford that was replaced in the Middle Ages by a bridge, the chéteau began its life in the eleventh century, when the notorious Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, rebuilt the stronghold in stone. Expanded and improved over time, on 4 September 1434 it was seized by Charles VII of France, after its owner, Louis d'Amboise, was convicted of plotting against Louis XI and executed in 1431. Once in royal hands, the chéteau became a favourite of French kings; Charles VIII decided to rebuild it extensively, beginning in 1492 at first in the French late Gothic Flamboyant style and then after 1495 employing two Italian mason-builders, Domenico da Cortona and Fra Giocondo, who provided at Amboise some of the first Renaissance decorative motifs seen in French architecture. The names of three French builders are preserved in the documents: Colin Biart, Guillaume Senault and Louis Armangeart.
King Francis I was raised at Amboise, which belonged to his mother, Louise of Savoy, and during the first few years of his reign the chéteau reached the pinnacle of its glory. As a guest of the King, Leonardo da Vinci came to Chéteau Amboise in December 1515 and lived and worked in the nearby Clos Lucé, connected to the chéteau by an underground passage. Tourists are told that he is buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, adjoining the Chéteau, which had been built in 1491"96.
Henry II and his wife, Catherine de' Medici, raised their children in Chéteau Amboise along with Mary Stuart, the child Queen of Scotland who had been promised in marriage to the future French Francis II.
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