Château de Blois
The Royal Château de Blois is located in the city center of Blois at the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France. The residence of several French kings, it is the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans; the Château of Blois controlled the town of Blois and comprises several buildings. Construction of these buildings ended in the 17th century. There are four architectural styles represented at the Chateau of Blois which include: 13th-century Medieval fortress, The Louis XII Gothic wing, The Francois I Renaissance wing, the Gaston of Orleans Classical wing, it has 75 staircases although only 23 were used frequently. There are 100 bedrooms, with a fireplace in each. In 854 the Castle of Blois, known as Blisum castrum, was attacked by Vikings. In the 10th and 11th centuries; the Counts of Blois and landowners from Chartres and Champagne joined together to rebuild the fortress. Thibaud le Tricheur raised the “big tower” and by the end of the 12th century, the Counts contributions were finished by building the Saitn-Sauvuer.
The "Salle des États Généraux", built in the beginning of the 13th century, is one of the oldest seignoral rooms preserved in France, is the largest remaining civilian Gothic room. The room was used as a court of justice by the Counts of Blois and was used in 1576 and 1588 for the "États Généraux"; the medieval castle was purchased in 1391 by Louis I, Duke of Orléans, brother of Charles VI. It was inherited by their son, Charles d'Orléans the poet, taken prisoner at Agincourt in England. After twenty-five years as a hostage in England, Charles d'Orleans returned to his beloved Blois and helped rebuilt the chateau as a more commodious dwelling, it became the favourite royal residence and the political capital of the kingdom under Charles' son, King Louis XII. At the beginning of the 16th century, King Louis XII initiated a reconstruction of the entry of the main block and the creation of an Italian garden in terraced parterres where Place Victor Hugo stands today; this wing, of red brick and grey stone, forms the main entrance to the château, features a statue of the mounted king above the entrance.
Although the style is principally Gothic, as the profiles of mouldings, the lobed arches and the pinnacles attest, there are elements of Renaissance architecture present, such as a small chandelier. When Francis I took power in 1515, his wife Queen Claude had him refurbish Blois with the intention of moving from the Château d'Amboise to Blois. Francis initiated the construction of a new wing and created one of the period's most important libraries in the castle. After the death of his wife in 1524, he spent little time at Blois and the massive library was moved to the royal Château de Fontainebleau, it is this library that formed the royal library and the backbone of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. In this wing, the architecture and ornamentation are marked by Italian influence. At the centre is the monumental spiral staircase, covered with fine bas-relief sculptures and looking out onto the château's central court. Behind this wing is the façade of the Loges, characterised by a series of disconnected niches.
Driven from Paris during the French Wars of Religion, King Henry III lived at Blois and held the Estates-General convention there in 1576 and 1588. During the December 1588 convention the king had his arch-enemy, Henry I, Duke of Guise assassinated; the following day, the Duke's brother, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise was assassinated. After this, the castle was occupied by the first Bourbon monarch. On Henry's death in 1610, it became the place of exile for his widow, Marie de' Medici, when she was expelled from her son's court, Louis XIII. In 1626, King Louis XIII gave the Château of Blois to his brother and heir, Gaston duc d'Orléans as a wedding gift. In 1634, Gaston embarked on building a new castle in Blois; the task of developing this new castle was given to François Mansart. The rear of the courtyard is where Mansart began this ambitious project building with a main dwelling house; this house should have been the first building in a large-scale reconstruction project. The project was stopped in 1638 when Gaston's nephew was born, future Louis XIV.
With Louis XIV birth, Gaston was no longer eligible for financing. This wing makes up the rear wall of the court, directly opposite the Louis XII wing; the central section is composed of three horizontal layers where the superposition of Doric and Corinthian orders can be seen. By the time of the French Revolution the immense castle had been neglected for more than a hundred and thirty years; the content, many of its statues, royal coats of arms of the palace were removed. In a state of near total disrepair, Château of Blois was scheduled to be demolished but was given a reprieve as a military barracks. In 1840, the initiative of Prosper Mérimée placed the Chateau of Blois on the list of historical monuments; this allowed state funds to be used in the preservation. It was restored under the direction of the architect Félix Duban; the chateau is now used as a public museum. On view for visitors are the supposed poison cabinets of Catherine de' Medici. Most this room, the "chamber of secrets", had a much more banal purpose: exhibiting precious objects for guests.
Today, the château is a tourist attraction. Châteaux of the Loire Valley Gardens of the French Renaissance List of castles in France Château de Blois - official site Château de Blois - The official website of F
Château de Chinon
Château de Chinon is a castle located on the bank of the Vienne river in Chinon, France. It was founded by Count of Blois. In the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. In 1156 Henry II of England, a member of the House of Anjou, took the castle from his brother Geoffrey, Count of Nantes after Geoffrey had rebelled for a second time. Henry favoured the Château de Chinon as a residence. Most of the standing structure can be attributed to his reign and he died there in 1189. Early in the 13th century, King Philip II of France harassed the English lands in France and in 1205 he captured Chinon after a siege that lasted several months, after which the castle remained under French control; when King Philip IV accused the Knights Templar of heresy during the first decade of the 14th century, several leading members of the order were imprisoned there. Used by Charles VII in the 15th century, the Château de Chinon became a prison in the second half of the 16th century, but fell out of use and was left to decay.
It has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1840. The castle, which contains a museum, is now owned and managed by the Indre-et-Loire General Council and is a major tourist attraction. In the early 21st century it was restored at a cost of €14.5 million. The settlement of Chinon is on the bank of the Vienne river about 10 kilometres from where it joins the Loire. From prehistoric times, when the settlement of Chinon originated, rivers formed the major trade routes, the Vienne joins the fertile southern plains of the Poitou and the city of Limoges to the thoroughfare of the Loire; the site was fortified early on, by the 5th century a Gallo-Roman castrum had been established. Theobald I, Count of Blois built the earliest known castle on the mount of Chinon in the 10th century, he fortified it for use as a stronghold. After Odo II, Count of Blois died in battle in 1037, Fulk III, Count of Anjou marched into Touraine to capture Château de Langeais and Chinon, some 22 km away.
When Fulk arrived at Chinon the castle's garrison sought terms and surrendered. In 1044, Geoffrey captured Theobald of Blois-Chartres. In exchange for his release, Theobald agreed to recognise Geoffrey's ownership of Chinon and Tours. From until the early 13th century, Château de Chinon descended through his heirs. According to contemporaneous chronicler Robert of Torigni, on the death of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou in 1151 his second son, called Geoffrey, inherited four castles. Robert did not specify which these were, but historian W. L. Warren speculated that Chinon, Montsoreau and Mirebeau numbered amongst these castles as they were in the territory which may have been traditionally the inheritance of the second oldest son. Geoffrey rebelled against his older brother, Henry, in 1152. Henry negotiated with the castellans of the castles of Chinon and Mirebeau to surrender before laying siege to Château de Montsoreau. Following the loss of Montsoreau, Geoffrey surrendered to his brother.
By 1156 Chinon and Mirebeau were back under Geoffrey's control. That year he readied them for war. In the intervening years, his brother had been crowned King Henry II of England at the end of a long-running civil war. Henry besieged and captured Geoffrey's castles in the summer of 1156 and kept them under his control, giving Geoffrey an annuity of £1,500 in compensation; the presence of a treasury and one of Henry II's main arsenals marked Chinon as a important castle in the 12th century. It was a primary residence of Henry II, responsible for construction of all of the massive castle. In 1173 Henry II betrothed his youngest son, Prince John, to the daughter of Count Humbert, an influential lord in Provence. John had no land, but as part of the arrangement Henry promised him the castles of Chinon and Mirebeau. Henry II's eldest son called Henry, had been crowned King of England alongside his father but had no land of his own and was angered by the situation, his discontent grew and Henry the Young King demanded some of the land promised to him be handed over, claiming to have the support of the English barons and his father-in-law, King Louis VII of France.
While the king was at Limoges he was informed of a conspiracy involving his wife and sons to overthrow him. Choosing to keep his eldest son by his side, Henry II set off north to Normandy, ensuring along the way that his castles in Aquitaine were prepared for war. En route. Two of Henry the Young King's brothers and Geoffrey, joined him in rebellion along with the barons of France and some in England. War followed, lasting until 1174, Chinon, Châtellerault were key to Henry II's defence. After the revolt ended in 1174, relations between Henry II and his sons continued to be strained. By 1187 Henry the Young King was dead, Richard was in line to inherit, Henry II was on the brink of war with Philip II. In June that year Richard travelled to Paris with Philip II and struck up a friendship with the French king. Concerned his son might turn against him, Henry II asked him to return. Richard went to Chinon and raided the castle's treasury so he could fund the repair of his own castles in Aquitaine. In 1189 Richard and Philip were wreaking havoc in Toulouse, capturing Henry II's castles.
He left in July to meet with Richard and Philip II and agree a truce, died at Chinon on 6 July. The king's body was taken to Fontevraud Abbey and Richard became king. In 1199, John su
Château de Serrant
The Château de Serrant is a Renaissance château situated in the Loire Valley, the private residence of the Prince of Merode. The castle is 15 kilometres to the west of Angers, it is open to visitors; the Renaissance château is built on the foundations of a medieval fortress. From the 14th century the castle was held by the Brie family. Charles de Brie was inspired to start modernisation early in the 16th century, but lack of funds meant the project was halted with only the North Tower completed. Ownership of the castle changed hands several times before Guillaume de Bautru, a State Councillor, purchased the property in 1636. de Bautru restarted the construction, halted over a century earlier. By using Charles de Brie's original plans and the same russet schist and white tuffeau stone, de Bautru ensured that there was a continuity of design; the central halls, two wings and the South Tower were added, with Jules Hardouin Mansart completing the work of de Bautru by building the chapel. In 1749, the estate was sold by the last surviving descendant of the de Bautru family and was bought by Antoine Walsh, a shipowner whose family were exiled Jacobites.
As well as redecorating the interior of the castle, the Walsh family built an English style park, a monumental gate complete with the family crest. The château passed out of the hands of the Walsh family in 1830 when "Valentine Eugénie Joséphine Walsh de Serrant" married the Duc de La Trémoïlle. La Trémoïlle assigned Luciene Magne the task of restoring the castle and several features, including parapets and cornices, were added; the La Trémoïlle family still own the château, but in the 20th century it has been modernised with cellars and the introduction of electricity. The current owner is are the descendants of Jean Charles, Prince de Ligne de La Trémoïlle, his daughter is Princesse of Merode by marriage and they are the parents of prince Emmanuel de Merode The castle is notable for the library, stocked with 12,000 books. "Château de Serrant". Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2007. Château de Serrant - official site
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
Fulk III, Count of Anjou
Fulk III, the Black was an early Count of Anjou celebrated as one of the first great builders of medieval castles. It is estimated Fulk constructed 100 castles, along with abbeys throughout the Loire Valley in what is now France, he fought successive wars with neighbors in Brittany, Blois and Aquitaine and made four pilgrimages to Jerusalem during the course of his life. He had three children. Fulk was a natural horseman and fearsome warrior with a keen sense of military strategy that bested of most of his opponents, he was allied with the goals and aims of the Capetians against the dissipated Carolingians of his era. With his county seat at Angers, Fulk’s bitter enemy was Eudes II of Blois, his neighbor 128 km east along the Loire River, at Tours; the two men traded towns and insults throughout their lives. Fulk finished his first castle at 104 km east of Angers, on the banks of the Loire. Like many of his constructions, it began as a wooden tower, was replaced with a stone structure, fortified with exterior walls, equipped with a thick-walled tower called a donjon in French.
He built it in the territory of Eudes I, Count of Blois, they fought a battle over it in 994. But Eudes I died of a sudden illness, his son and successor, Eudes II, did not manage to evict him. Fulk continued building more towers in a slow encirclement of Tours: Montbazon, Montrésor, Montrichard and the tower of Montboyau, erected just across the Loire from Tours in 1016, he fortified the castles at Angers, Chateau-Gontier, Chinon and Semblançay, among many others. “The construction of castles for the purpose of extending a ruler’s power was part of Fulk Nerra’s strategy,” wrote Peter Fraser Purton, in A History of Medieval Siege, c. 450–1220. Fulk was a devout Christian, who built, enlarged or endowed several abbeys and monasteries, such as the Abbey of Beaulieu-les-Loches, Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, Saint-Aubin, a convent, Notre Dame de la Charité at Ronceray in Angers. Although he never learned to write, he endowed a school with revenue to provide poor students with an education. Fulk undertook four pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
He was the son of Geoffrey I of Anjou known as Geoffrey Grisegonelle, Adélaide of Vermandois. He had an older sister: Hermengarde, who married a younger brother Geoffrey. A half-brother, was born in 980. Fulk married Elisabeth de Vendôme, daughter of Count Bouchard of Vendome, they had a daughter: Adèle. Married Bodon, son of Landry, Count of Nevers, their eldest son, inherited Vendôme. Elisabeth’s death was recounted in the Chronicles of Saint-Florent: Elisabeth occupied the citadel at Anger with some supporters and while under siege from Fulk, she suffered a fall from a great height, was burnt at the stake for adultery. Fulk married Hildegarde de Sundgau, whose family was from Lorraine, around December 1005, they had two children: Geoffroy, in 1006, who became known as Geoffroy Martel, succeeded Fulk as Count of Anjou in 1040. Ermengarde-Blanche, around 1018. Fulk Nerra’s first victory was in June 992 at Battle of Conquereuil, where he managed to defeat Conan I, Duke of Brittany. Conan’s territorial ambitions had been quashed by Geoffroy Grisgonelle in 980, seven years he planned an ambush on Angers while Fulk was at the crowning of Robert the Pious.
Fulk and his men foiled the ambush, killing Alain, in the process. In 992 Fulk laid siege to Conan's castle at Nantes. Conan was killed in the battle, Fulk installed a governor/regent, as the succeeding count was a child. While Fulk and Eudes II fought many skirmishes over territory and alliances, their biggest battle occurred in July 1016 at Battle of Pontlevoy. Eudes marched 10,000 men southward toward Fulk’s tower at Montboyau. Fulk’s men were routed and Eudes, thinking the battle won, went for a swim in the Cher River. Reinforcements led by Herbert Wake-Dog of Maine arrived to help Fulk and routed Eudes' surprised men. Several thousand were reported killed. Fulk undertook four pilgrimages to Jerusalem--first and second as a penitent seeking forgiveness for sins and third and fourth to protect pilgrims. In 1003, Fulk traveled to Jerusalem for his first pilgrimage; the journey was across the Alps at the Grand Bernard Pass in today’s Switzerland, over land to Bari in the southern Italian peninsula, by ship to the Holy Land.
The travel took as long as six months, through dangerous territory. Fulk made a second pilgrimage in 1008, obliged to do so by the king as punishment after Fulk ordered the murder of an enemy. For his third and fourth trips, Fulk had a moral obligation to protect pilgrims in the years following the desecration of Jerusalem by the "Mad Caliph" Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, provided armed security against robbers and enslavers along the route. In 1035, the third pilgrimage with Robert I, Duke of Normandy and in 1038, he made his final pilgrimage, he died in Metz in 1040 on his return from that trip, was buried in the chapel of his monastery at Beaulieu. Geoffroy Martel was Count of Anjou from 1040 to 1060, but had no children from either of two marriages; the Anjou title went to the two sons of his sister Ermengarde-Blanche. Geoffroy III Le Barbu was Count of Anjou from 1060 to 1098. Fulk IV's grandson, Geoffrey Plantagenet, married Matilda, heir to the English thro
A château is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions. The word "chateau" is a French word that has entered the English language, where its meaning is more specific than it is in French; the French word "chateau" denotes buildings as diverse as a medieval fortress, a Renaissance palace and a 19th-century country house. Care should therefore be taken when translating the French word château into English, noting the nature of the building in question. Most French châteaux are "palaces" or "country houses" and not "castles", for these the English word "chateau" is appropriate. Sometimes the word "palace" is more appropriate. To give an outstanding example, the Château de Versailles is so called because it was located in the countryside when it was built, but it does not bear any resemblance to a castle, so it is known in English as the Palace of Versailles.
In French where clarification is needed, the term château fort is used to describe a castle, such as Château fort de Roquetaillade. The urban counterpart of château is palais, which in French is applied only to grand houses in a city; this usage is again different from that of the term "palace" in English, where there is no requirement that a palace must be in a city, but the word is used for buildings other than the grandest royal residences. The expression hôtel particulier is used for an urban "private house" of a grand sort. A château is a "power house", as Sir John Summerson dubbed the British and Irish "stately homes" that are the British Isles' architectural counterparts to French châteaux, it is the personal badge of a family that, with some official rank, locally represents the royal authority. However, the quality of the residences could vary from royal châteaux owned by royalty and the wealthy elite near larger towns to run-down châteaux vacated by poor nobility and officials in the countryside isolated and vulnerable.
A château was supported by its terres, composing a demesne that rendered the society of the château self-sufficient, in the manner of the historic Roman and Early Medieval villa system. The open villas of Rome in the times of Pliny the Elder and Emperor Tiberius began to be walled-in, fortified in the 3rd century AD, thus evolving to castellar "châteaux". In modern usage, a château retains some enclosures that are distant descendants of these fortifying outworks: a fenced, closeable forecourt a gatehouse or a keeper's lodge, supporting outbuildings. Besides the cour d'honneur entrance, the château might have an inner cour, inside, in the private residence, the château faces a and discreetly enclosed park. In the city of Paris, the Louvre and the Luxembourg represented the original château but lost their château etymology, becoming "palaces" when the City enclosed them. In the U. S. the word château took root selectively, in the Gilded Age resort town of Newport, Rhode Island, the châteaux were called "cottages", north of Wilmington, Delaware, in the rich, rural "Château Country" centred upon the powerful Du Pont family, château is used with its original definition.
In Canada in English, château denotes a hotel, not a house, applies only to the largest, most elaborate railway hotels built in the Canadian Railroad golden age, such as the Château Lake Louise, in Lake Louise, the Château Laurier, in Ottawa, the Château Montebello, in Montebello and the most famous Château Frontenac, in Quebec City. Moreover, in other French-speaking European regions, such as Wallonia, the word Château is used with the same definition. In Belgium, a strong French architectural influence is evident in the seventeenth-century Château des Comtes de Marchin and the eighteenth-century Château de Seneffe. There are many estates with true châteaux on them in Bordeaux, but it is customary for any wine-producing estate, no matter how humble, to prefix its name with "Château". If there were any trace of doubt that the Roman villas of Aquitaine evolved into fortified self-contained châteaux, the wine-producing châteaux would dispel it. On the other hand, there are many striking châteaux in the Bordeaux region still depicting this Roman villa style of architecture, an example of this being Château Lagorce in Haux.
The Loire Valley is home to more than 300 châteaux. They were built between the 10th and 20th centuries, firstly by the French kings followed soon thereafter by the nobility. Alternatively, due to its moderate climate, wine growing soils and rich agricultural land, the Loire Valley is referred to as "The Garden of France"; the châteaux range from the large to more'human-scale' châteaux such as the Château de Beaulieu in Saumur or the medieval Château du Rivau close to Chinon which were built of the local tuffeau stone. The Château de Chenonceau is a French château spanning the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire department of the Loire Valley in France, it is one
The Château d'Amboise is a château in Amboise, located in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. Confiscated by the monarchy in the 15th century, it became a favoured royal residence and was extensively rebuilt. King Charles VIII died at the château in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel; the château fell into decline from the second half of the 16th century and the majority of the interior buildings were demolished, but some survived and have been restored, along with the outer defensive circuit of towers and walls. It has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1840; the Château d'Amboise is situated at an elevation of 81 meters. The Château d'Amboise was built on a spur above the River Loire; the strategic qualities of the site were recognised before the medieval construction of the castle, a Gallic oppidum was built there. In the late 9th century Ingelgarius was made viscount of Orléans and through his mother was related to Hugh the Abbot, tutors to the French kings.
Ingelgarius married a member of a prominent family who controlled Château d'Amboise. He was made Count of the Angevins and his rise can be attributed to his political connections and reputation as a soldier. Château d'Amboise would pass through Ingelgarius and Adelais' heirs, he was succeeded by their son, Fulk the Red; as Fulk the Red expanded his territory, Amboise and Villentrois formed the core of his possessions. Amboise lay on the eastern frontier of the Angevins holdings. Amboise and its castle descended through the family to Fulke Nerra in 987. Fulk had to contend with the ambitions of Odo I, Count of Blois who wanted to expand his own territory into Anjou. Odo I could call on the support of many followers and instructed Conan, Count of Rennes, Gelduin of Saumr, Abbot Robert of Saint-Florent de Saumur to harass Fulk's properties. While Conan was busy on Anjou's western border and Robert attempted to isolate the easternmost castles of Amboise and Loches by raiding the Saumurois and disrupting communications.
To further threaten Amboise, fortifications were erected at Chaumont and Montsoreau, while Saint-Aignan was garrisoned. Expanded and improved over time, on 4 September 1434 it was seized by Charles VII of France, after its owner, Louis d'Amboise, Viscount of Thours, was convicted of plotting against Louis XI and condemned to be executed in 1431. However, the king took his château at Amboise. Once in royal hands, the château became a favourite of French kings, from Louis XI to Francis I. Charles VIII decided to rebuild it extensively, beginning in 1492 at first in the French late Gothic Flamboyant style and 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. Following the Italian War of 1494–1495, Charles brought Italian architects and artisans to France to work on the château, turn it into "the first Italianate palace in France".
Among the people Charles brought from Italy was Pacello da Mercogliano who designed the gardens at the Châteaux of Ambois and Blois. Charles died at Château d'Amboise in 1498. Before his death he had the upper terrace widened to hold a larger parterre and enclosed with latticework and pavilions; the parterres have been recreated in the twentieth century as rectangles of lawns set in gravel and a formal bosquet of trees. King Francis I was raised at Amboise, which belonged to his mother, Louise of Savoy, during the first few years of his reign, the château reached the pinnacle of its glory; as a guest of the King, Leonardo da Vinci came to Château Amboise in December 1515 and lived and worked in the nearby Clos Lucé, connected to the château by an underground passage. Records show that at the time of Leonardo da Vinci's death on 2 May 1519, he was buried in the Chapel of St. Florentin located 100 meters NE of the Chapel of St. Hubert; this Chapel of St. Florentin belonged to the royal castle and lay within the stone fortifications surrounding the property of the Château d'Amboise, it should not to be confused with the nearby Église Saint-Florentin in Amboise, but not located within the property borders of the Château d'Amboise.
After the French Revolution, the Chapel of St. Florentin was in such a ruinous state that the engineer appointed by Napoleon decided that it was not worth preserving and had it demolished; the remaining stonework was used to repair the Château d'Amboise. Some sixty years the foundational site of the Chapel of St. Florentin was excavated: it is alleged that a complete skeleton was found, with fragments of a stone inscription containing some of the letters of his name. However, other accounts describe heaps of bones and anecdotes of children kicking skulls around for fun and games. Nonetheless, based on some contemporaneous accounts, it is the collection of bones that were found to be whole and with an extraordinarily large skull that are supposed to be buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, where now a large floor-level marble stone bearing a metal medallion relief portrait of Leonardo da Vinci (based on the "Melzi's por