At the Chateau du Close Luce, you’ll discover 800 years of intriguing history. Having once been the home of Leonardo da Vinci, a visit here will give you the chance to be in the very house where he wrote his will. Home also to Leonardo’s Garden and the Park Leonardo da Vinci, Chateau du Close Luce offers visitors the chance to experience the natural beauty that inspired his work. |
Chateau de Chenonceau also has a remarkable history. The best French river tours will incorporate a visit here; the house has so many stories to tell its visitors. During WW1, it functioned as a military hospital and today it still hosts famous faces, heads of state and other statesmen.
Chateau du Close Luce
The stunning architecture of this house dates back to the reign of Louis XI. It was then bought by Charles VIII in 1490, and from then on it became the summer residence of the kings of France.
Leonardo da Vinci was 64 when he accepted the king’s invitation to travel through the Alps to the house, bringing with him a carefully selected group of his pupils. He also brought one of the art world’s most famous creations, the Mona Lisa, along with his manuscripts, sketchbooks and notes.
His quarters (where he eventually passed away in the year 1519) had a stunning view of the Château Royal d’Amboise. On the ground floor, you’ll discover his workshops, which will give you a real glimpse into the creative process that one of the world’s most famous artists went through.
Chateau de Chenonceau
Another spot which is simply unmissable on any trip wanting to be regarded as one of the best French river tours is this house. This is a must visit for anyone interested in the country’s rich history, as it has been involved with so many key events and figures.
King Francis I first included the site into the Crown Estate back in 1535, whilst King Henry II later offered it as a gift to Diane de Poitiers. In 1559, France was operated from here by Queen Catherine de’ Medici. She introduced all kinds of Italian style and character to the house, whilst also hosting plenty of festivities.
From 1914 to 1918, it became a military hospital. During WW1, over 2,000 men were treated here. The ‘Gallery of Domes’ pays a touching tribute to those who helped the wounded over the course of these four years.
The best French river tours should always include a visit to some of the country’s world-famous and iconic chateaus. Whether it’s a chance to experience the beautiful surroundings that inspired Leonardo da Vinci at Chateau du Close Luce or the fascinating history of the Chateau de Chenonceau, there is so much to gain from a visit here.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive luxury barge holidays. If you're looking for the best French river tours or cruises to other great destinations they are the go-to experts. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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