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...There was a beautiful fairy tale castle called the Royal Château of Amboise.
It was built on a promontory overlooking the Loire River to control a strategic ford that was replaced in the Middle Ages by a bridge. The beautiful château began its life in the eleventh century, when the notorious Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, rebuilt the stronghold in stone.
The medieval fortress of Amboise was replaced by a royal residence during the reigns of Kings Charles VIII and François I in the late 15th to early 16th century. A number of men and women of notoriety from Europe as well as artists stayed at the Court of Amboise at the sovereigns’ invitation, including Leonardo da Vinci, who is buried in the chapel.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the huge château was all but abandoned when the property passed into the hands of Gaston d’Orleans, the brother of the Bourbon King Louis XIII. After his death it returned to the Crown and was turned into a prison during the Fronde, and under Louis XIV of France it held disgraced minister Nicolas Fouquet and the duc de Lauzun. Louis XV made a gift of it to his minister the duc de Choiseul. During the French Revolution, the greater part of the château was demolished, a great deal more destruction was done, and an engineering assessment commissioned by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th century resulted in a great deal of the château having to be demolished.
King Louis-Philippe began restoring it during his reign but with his abdication in 1848, the château was confiscated by the government and became for a while the home in exile to Emir Abd Al-Qadir. In 1873, Louis-Philippe’s heirs were given control of the property and a major effort to repair it was made. However, during the German invasion in 1940 the château was damaged further.
Today the Château d’Amboise is listed as a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture, the present comte de Paris, descendant of Louis-Philippe, repairs and maintains the château through the Saint Louis Foundation.
But that was once upon a time…..
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