advertisement

Within 3km (1 3/4 miles) of the base of Amboise’s château, this brick-and-stone building was constructed in the 1470s. Bought by Charles VII in 1490, it became the summer residence of the royals and also served as a retreat for Anne de Bretagne, who, according to legend, spent a lot of time praying and meditating. Later, François I installed “the great master in all forms of art and science,” Leonardo himself. Da Vinci lived here for 3 years, until his death in 1519. Today the site functions as a small museum, where you can step back into the life and imagination of da Vinci. The manor contains furniture from his era; examples of his sketches; models for his flying machines, bridges, and cannon; temporary exhibits; and an annual Renaissance musical festival late September (a nod to da Vinci’s musical talents).