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Amboise, street near the castle
|Region||Centre-Val de Loire|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Christian Guyon|
|Area1||40.65 km2 (15.70 sq mi)|
|• Density||310/km2 (800/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||37003 / 37400|
|Elevation||52–127 m (171–417 ft)
(avg. 58 m or 190 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Amboise (pronounced: [ɑ̃bwaːz]) is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies on the banks of the Loire River, 17 miles (27 km) east of Tours. Today a small market town, it was once home of the French royal court. The town of Amboise is also only about 11 miles (18 km) away from the historic Château de Chenonceau, situated on the Cher River near the small village of Chenonceaux. Its former name was Ambacia, from the old name of the river and marsh Amasse.
The city is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France, whose Château d'Amboise, which dominates the town, is located just 500 m (1,640 feet) away. The narrow streets contain some good examples of timbered housing.
Just outside of the city is the Pagode de Chanteloup, a 44 m (144.4 feet) tall Chinese Pagoda built in 1775 by the Duke of Choiseul. The Pagoda is seven levels high, with each level slightly smaller than the last one. An interior staircase to reach all levels is open to the public.
The Musée de la Poste (in the Hôtel Joyeuse) is a museum tracing the history of the postal delivery service.
A 19th-century fountain by John Oswald of a turtle topped by a teddy bear figure, standing in front of the spot where the markets are held.
Amboise viewed from the Château d'Amboise
The Edict of Amboise (1563) conceded the free exercise of worship to the Protestants.
The Château at Amboise was home to Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, for much of her early life, being raised there at the French court of Henry II. She arrived in France from Scotland in 1548, aged six, via the French king's favourite palace at Saint Germain en Laye near Paris, and remained in France until 1561, when she returned to her homeland - sailing up the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh on 15 August that year.
Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life in Amboise. Some of his inventions are still there and have not been removed. The house has lost some of its original parts, but it still stands today and has a beautiful overlook of the Loire River.
Here was born in 1743 – Louis Claude de Saint-Martin French philosopher, known as Le Philosophe Inconnu. (d. 1803).
Twin towns – Sister cities
Amboise is twinned with:
- Boppard, Germany
- Fana, Mali
- Suwa (province of Nagano), Japan
- Vinci, Italy
- Baleni (province of Galati), Romania
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