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...There was a beautiful fairy tale castle called the Royal ChÃ¢teau 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 chÃ¢teau 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 FranÃ§ois 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 sovereignsâ€™ invitation, including Leonardo da Vinci, who is buried in the chapel.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the huge chÃ¢teau was all but abandoned when the property passed into the hands of Gaston dâ€™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 chÃ¢teau 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 chÃ¢teau having to be demolished.
King Louis-Philippe began restoring it during his reign but with his abdication in 1848, the chÃ¢teau was confiscated by the government and became for a while the home in exile to Emir Abd Al-Qadir. In 1873, Louis-Philippeâ€™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 chÃ¢teau was damaged further.
Today the ChÃ¢teau dâ€™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 chÃ¢teau through the Saint Louis Foundation.
But that was once upon a timeâ€¦..
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