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We were so stuck in traffic for a couple of days, arriving at our hotel rooms in the middle of the night, so I didn’t get a chance to post. But we’ll make up for it today!

Tip 5 for the summer is the last home of Leonardo da Vinci, at the Clos Lucé Mansion, nearby Amboise Castle, 160 km from our place.

Clos Lucé mansion

The Clos Lucé Mansion. By Azay at the Hungarian language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1516, Leonardo joined the court of French king François I as “The King’s First Painter, Engineer and Architect”. He then moved from Italy to the mansion Clos Lucé in the town of Amboise in the Loire valley.

Leonardo brought with him a few of his paintings, including the Mona Lisa (La Gioconda in Italian, La Joconde in French) and St. John the Baptist. And this is the reason the world’s most famous painting is to be seen in the Louvre Museum in Paris, and not in Italy.

Mona Lisa. Photograph by Dennis Jarvis. CC BY-SA 2.0

Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. One of the few paintings he brought with him to Amboise. Photograph by Dennis Jarvis. CC BY-SA 2.0

From his window he had a magnificent view of the King’s castle, the Château d’Amboise. A drawing of it, either by Leonardo himself or one of his pupils, is depicted below.

By pl: szkoła Leonarda da Vinci en: school of Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Drawing of the Amboise Castle. The School of Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain CC0 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The museum

Mansion Clos Lucé is today a museum open to the public. You can visit Leonardo’s last home, see his bedroom, dining room, studio, plus several of his designs for different devices realised in 3D, both inside the house and outside in the surrounding park.


A tank designed by Leonardo. By Elliott Brown. CC BY 2.0

Leonardo’s resting place in the Chapel Saint Hubert

The Tomb of Leonardo da Vinci

The Tomb of Leonardo da Vinci in the Chapel of Saint Hubert, Amboise Castle. By Peter Dutton (originally posted to Flickr as Leonardo Da Vinci) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Leonardo lived in the Clos Lucé mansion until his death on May 2nd, 1519. He is buried in the Chapel of Saint Hubert at the neighbouring Amboise Castle.