Christmas in Amboise

December 14, 2016
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  Christmas in Amboise is, unfortunately, getting more like Christmas in the UK but there are a few merciful respites. Decorated Christmas trees and Father Christmases do begin to pop up in December but on the whole, things are much more low key. There is no spending frenzy. The French do not go into debt. […]

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Soul Food. Loches

November 26, 2016
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Off to Loches to look at some art. The first exhibition was in the wonderful Lansyer Museum. To go there is to go back to the 1830s. The lovely old house still has its original parquet floors, fireplaces and many other period features. The museum is dedicated to Emmanuel Lansyer, architect turned artist who inherited […]

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Château de Saché – The Balzac Museum

November 11, 2016
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Thanks to the sterling efforts of Monsieur Paul Metadier and his son Bernard-Paul, even those who have never heard of Balzac will enjoy Saché. This delightful, homely, house is almost as the novelist left it after his last visit in 1848.

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Château Cheverny

October 7, 2016
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The original Château Cheverny was, by fair means or foul, taken from the family by Henri II. He gave it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers who cynically sold it back to the family.

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Château Amboise (2)

August 13, 2016
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The terrible tragedy of Charles’ death threw a pall over the Château and the town. Anne was only twenty-one. Already heartbroken having lost seven children to early deaths, she was devastated. She couldn’t wait to leave Amboise and went home to her beloved Brittany.

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Château Amboise (1)

August 7, 2016
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Way back in Neolithic times, the mighty rock where Château Amboise now stands was a defensive fort. The natural promontory at the confluence of the Loire to the north and the Amasse to the south, was and is still, a perfect observation point.

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Château Gaillard

July 23, 2016
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Foolish to condense five hundred years of history into one blog. However, fools rush in, so here goes. The Renaissance arrived in France via Amboise in 1495 when King Charles VIII, came home from Italy. The fact he went there at all was something of a fluke. In 1489, to punish Ferdinand, the King of […]

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