Enter the world of a genius at the Château of Le Clos-Lucé 

Come and walk in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci! The Château of Le Clos-Lucé in Amboise invites you discover the life of one of the greatest minds of all time.  

The Château of Le Clos-Lucé: the home of a genius  

Leonardo da Vinci took up residence in the Château of Le Clos Lucé in 1516 at the age of 64, having crossed the Alps on a mule. He carried with him three major works - "Mona Lisa", "Saint John the Baptist" and "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" - as well as numerous notebooks containing his notes, sketches and thoughts.  

He was invited by Francis I who, impressed by his great mind and talent, appointed him “First Painter, Engineer and Architect to the King”. The Château of Le Clos Lucé was no random choice since Francis I lived close by in the Royal Château of Amboise. The two châteaux were connected by an underground passage allowing the King to come and talk for many hours with his “father”, as he called him.  

Leonardo da Vinci spent three years on the banks of the Loire working on the numerous topics that fascinated him. A painter, inventor, engineer, scientist, sculptor and botanist, the visionary genius dreamed of allowing men to fly and travel underwater. He died in his room in the Château of Le Clos-Lucé in the spring of 1519, leaving behind him a unique legacy that continues to fascinate and inspire people today.  

Visiting the Château of Le Clos-Lucé: 24 hours in the life of Leonardo da Vinci.  

From the outside, you will be charmed by the elegance of this Renaissance residence built in a harmonious blend of red bricks and white tuffeau stone.  

Inside, you will be plunged into the day-to-day life of Leonardo da Vinci. You can almost see the Italian master in his bedroom looking out of the window at the Royal Château of Amboise. In the great Renaissance room, you can hear him talking with the many prestigious guests he received… Leonardo da Vinci was a man ahead of his times and paid careful attention to what he ate. “Sobriety, wholesome eating and good sleep will keep you healthy” he used to say. In the kitchen, his faithful servant Mathurine prepared the healthy meals he liked.  

Curious, inventive, visionary.... In the underground rooms of the Château of Le Clos-Lucé you will discover 3D animations and forty or so ingenious models made with the materials of the time based on the genius’s sketches and plans.  

On the ground floor, Leonardo da Vinci’s workrooms cast light on his daily routine. The decoration, objects, works on the bookcases and the artist’s drawings and tools plunge visitors into the studious atmosphere that reigned here from dawn until dusk.  

It was in these rooms typical of the Renaissance Bottegas that he imagined Romorantin, the perfect city intended to become the capital of the kingdom of France. Here, too, he sketched the plans of the double helix staircase that would be built in the Château of Chambord. Not forgetting, of course, all the spectacular scenery he designed for royal parties!  

New in 2021: The Galleries of Leonardo da Vinci, Painter and Architect  

In the spring of 2021, the Château of Le Clos-Lucé will be inaugurating a new space dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, Painter and Architect. The two galleries cover an area of 500 m² and invite visitors to discover the multiple facets of the genius during an immersive experience using digital technology.  

The Gallery of Leonardo da Vinci, Painter 
17 of the artist's painted masterpieces are numbered and projected onto the walls offering a unique insight into Leonardo da Vinci’s painted work. In a single location, you can admire treasures displayed in the Louvre, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Vatican Museums, the National Gallery in London, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the National Museum in Krakow, the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and the National Gallery in Washington!  

The Gallery of Leonardo da Vinci, Architect 
Upstairs, an informative visit with models, 3D animations, digital tables and video games presents Leonardo da Vinci, Architect of civilian, religious and military buildings, Urban Planner and Designer of ephemeral scenography. The space reveals the Tuscan genius's fascination with mathematics and spatial geometry.  

Leonardo da Vinci Park  

Leonardo da Vinci’s creative world can also be seen in Leonardo da Vinci park at the Château of Le Clos Lucé. Inspired by nature, from which he borrowed many of his ideas, the universal genius was also an eminent engineer, architect, anatomist and formidable mathematician. Discover some of his inventions made from his sketches during a fun walk with giant machines that you can explore and work: climb aboard the armoured vehicle, cross the swing bridge, work the aerial screw or take a trip on the lake in the paddle boat!  

To complete the adventure, 40 large-scale translucent paintings between 3 and 4 metres high punctuate the walk. Each one reveals a little more of the many facets of the Italian master’s genius.  

2021 events at the Château of Le Clos Lucé  

Each year, the Château of Le Clos-Lucé invites you to enjoy events, shows and concerts.  

Theatrical late openings 
A theatrical and musical reverie inspired by one of William Shakespeare's most famous works: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Produced by Didier Girauldon with music by Henry Purcell, accompanied by more contemporary compositions for a distinctly modern adaptation.  
Practical information: 16, 17 and 18 July 2021  

Late opening strolls  
Visit the Château of Le Clos Lucé and its Leonardo da Vinci park on two evenings in summer. Discover the residence and gardens during a poetic walk with illuminations highlighting the life-size inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. As you stroll, music and drama punctuate the visit and recall the parties organised by Leonardo for Francis I.  
Practical information: 13 and 14 August 2021  

European Renaissance Music Festival 
The European Renaissance Music Festival is one of the highlights of the year at the Château of Le Clos-Lucé and will celebrate its 16th edition this year. Once again, some of the most celebrated ensembles will perform a programme of great classics of ancient music, new compositions and pieces inspired by the Renaissance.  
Practical information: 24, 25 and 26 September 2021  

Dining at the Château of Le Clos-Lucé  

If you want to spend the day at the Château of Le Clos-Lucé, there are several places where you can find something to eat. In the Auberge du Prieuré, Head Chef Sieur Sausin will introduce you to flavours of the past and take you on a gustatory journey back in time to the days of Leonardo da Vinci.  

At the moment, we invite you to contact the castle to check the dates, times and modalities of visit of the castle of Clos Lucé.