Catherine was born in Florence, Italy, into the powerful Medici family. She married the youngest son of François 1er, the future King Henri II, in 1533. She became queen on the death of Francis the First. She governs the kingdom under the titles of “Queen-Mother” of the future kings of France, François II, Charles IX and Henri III, and “Régente”. Passionate about the arts, she brought Italian taste to France and became one of the greatest patrons of the 16th century. Despite the policy of appeasement that she advocated during the wars of religion, Catherine de Medici often remained hostage to Catholic factions, anxious to spare them in order to preserve the power of the king. History will remember in particular her ambiguous role during the massacre of Saint-Barthélemy, in 1572, which will make her a black legend in the History of France.
At the royal castle of Amboise
It is to a very sinister episode of our History that the name of Catherine de Médicis echoes, in Amboise: that of the “conspiracy of Amboise“. We are in March 1560, in the early hours of the future religious wars. Protestant troops will try to kidnap the young King François II, who is staying at the Château d’Amboise. They judge the sovereign under the influence of his mother and the Guises, leader of the Catholic party. The coup is discovered, the assailants defeated, their leaders captured and tortured. Foreign to the ideas of the reform, struck by the offensive pamphlets against her, Catherine de Medici supported the punishment of the guilty.
To see at the Royal Castle of Amboise
His portrait in the king’s chamber