Château du Clos Lucé
Château du Clos Lucé, just 400 metres from Château royal d'Amboise.
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Château du Clos Lucé, also known as Château de Cloux and built in 1471 is much smaller than other Loire châteaux but its main attraction is as the final home of the world's greatest artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo Da Vinci was invited to live here in 1516 by his number one fan, King Francis I. Da Vinci travelled to the Loire by mule across the Alps along with several of his disciples and a servant. Must have been quite a journey.
I lived much of the time down the road at Château d'Amboise, some of the time at Château de Blois and made the occasional foray over to Château de Chambord to stick a pig and spear a deer.
Leonardo's bedroom from which he could see the Château d'Amboise.
Da Vinci died in this bed at the age of 67 on 2 May 1519, with - according to the painting on the left of the bed - his best buddy King Francis by his side. Leo was buried in the Château d'Amboise chapel, King Francis' main residence, just 400m away.
An 18th century salon that used to be Da Vinci's studio.
The basement of Clos Lucé is technically the most interesting part of a visit as it displays high quality models produced by IBM from original drawings, along with explanations and video animations clearly demonstrating Da Vinci's inventions and potential development, including the car, bicycle, tank, airplane, parachute, helicopter, submarine, multiple rocket launcher and much more, 500 years before these contraptions were eventually put into practice.
Boys, big and small, love this place.
A very tasty blonde beer but not authentic to the middle ages, nor invented by the great man we suspect.
A prototype helicopter mechanism in the Clos Lucé's garden with kids attempting liftoff.
Another of da Vinci's inventions, the world's first machine gun, along with, working paddle boats, water wheels...
...a primitive tank, and more peacefully...
...a number of Leonardo's paintings flap around the gardens and woods, along with his spirit.
Photos of Loire Chateaux and towns
Chenonceau | Chaumont Garden Festival | Cheverny | Villandry | Chambord | Amboise | Blois
Tours town | Cycling the Loire | Blois town
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