Touraine is one of the traditional provinces of France. Its capital was Tours. During the political reorganization of French territory in 1790, Touraine was divided between the departments of Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher and Indre. Traversed by the Loire and its tributaries the Cher, the Indre and the Vienne, Touraine makes up a part of the Paris Basin, it is well known for its viticulture. The TGV, which connects Tours with Paris in just over an hour, has made Touraine a place of residence for people who work in the capital but seek a different quality of life. Touraine takes its name from a Celtic tribe called the Turones, who inhabited the region about two thousand years ago. In 1044, the control of Touraine was given to the Angevins, who became kings of England in 1154, the castle of Chinon being their greatest stronghold. In 1205, Philip II Augustus of France regained Touraine. At this time, Touraine was made into a royal duchy. In 1429, Saint Joan of Arc had a historic meeting with the future King of France Charles VII at Chinon.
Throughout the late 15th and 16th centuries, Touraine was a favorite residence of French kings, the dark and gloomy castles were converted to Renaissance châteaux. These same châteaux became popular tourist attractions in modern times; the royal duchy became a province in 1584, was divided into departments in 1790. Touraine is celebrated for its many châteaux: examples are those at Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chinon, Langeais and Villandry. René Descartes François Rabelais Alfred de Vigny Honoré de Balzac René Boylesve Jean Thurel Jakelin de Mailly Leonardo da Vinci died in Amboise in 1519 Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas, Duke of Touraine leader of the Army of Scotland in France during the Hundred Years' War Khouribga, Morocco Gafsa, Tunisia Centre-Val de Loire Touraine AOC Official website: Touraine Tourism Board Media related to Touraine at Wikimedia Commons
Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC. Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern modern Latin; the Greek and Latin names Galatia and Gallia are derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. The Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the "milk-white" skin of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people"; the English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia.
The Germanic w- is rendered as gu- / g- in French, the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant. French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a, the diphthong au would be unexplained. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived from the name of the Volcae. Unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael; the Irish word gall did mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib; as adjectives, English has the two variants: Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as "pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls", although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish. There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins.
Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships and linguistic divisions coincide. Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises under Mediterranean influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads across the entire territory of Gaul; the La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia and Hungary.
Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, the Greek geographer Strabo. In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul, into Pannonia, northern Italy and Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans descr
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