Name : Charles of Valois

Date of birth : June 30, 1470, at the royal castle of Amboise

Date of death : April 7, 1498, at the royal castle of Amboise

King of France : from August 30, 1483 to April 7, 1498

Wife : Anne of Brittany (Queen of France)

Mother : Charlotte of Savoy (Queen of France)

Father : Louis XI (king of France)

His biography

The only surviving son of Louis XI, Charles was brought up at the Château d’Amboise alongside his mother Charlotte of Savoy and her sisters. When he became king at the age of 13, he remained under the tutelage of his sister, Anne de Beaujeu, who exercised de facto power. He emancipated himself from it in 1491 and married Anne of Britain the same year. He thus began the process of attaching the Duchy of Brittany to France. Claiming his rights over the Kingdom of Naples, he set out to conquer it in 1494, the starting point of the famous “Italian wars”. His premature death, at age 28, put an end to the elder branch of the Valois.

At the royal castle of Amboise

Charles VIII is therefore the only king of France to be both born and died in a castle in the Loire, that of Amboise. Its fate is, unsurprisingly, very closely linked to the places. It was on his orders that a colossal project in Amboise was undertaken to modernize the old medieval fortress of his father – Louis XI – and transform it into a superb palace inspired by the brand new ideas of the Renaissance. If his successors will also carry out development work, it is to him that we owe the contours of the Château d’Amboise.

In particular, he will have the two spectacular cavalier towers built, as well as the first Italian-inspired garden in the Loire Valley.

Unfortunately, he did not enjoy his palace for long… Charles VIII died when he hit the top of a door with his head, at the age of 28.

To see at the Royal Castle of Amboise

His portrait in the Drum Room

The reproduction of his Book of Hours, in the drumming room

The lines of the garden of the terrace of Naples, built at his request

Reopening of the Saint-Hubert chapel to the public on June 16th, 2024
18Days 07Hours 05Minutes 30Secondes


After nearly three years of work, the Saint-Hubert chapel which houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci will once again be fully revealed to visitors from June 16th