History

FROM ITS ORIGINS TO 1431

Since Neolithic times, the Châteliers promontory has been an ideal observation post for the confluence of the Loire and one of its tributaries, the Amasse. Towering nearly 40 metres high, it offered an exceptional natural defence. The town became the main city of the Turones, a Celtic people who gave their name to the future province of Touraine. The site has been fortified since this era.

Roman legions also occupied this fortified site. Local chronicles report that Julius Caesar (100 BC- 44 BC) himself was rather taken with the Amboise oppidum.

However, the site made a significant entrance into the history books with the meeting of Clovis (around 466- 481- 511), king of the Francs, and Alaric (?- 484-507), king of the Visigoths. After the troubled period of the Norman invasions, Amboise incorporated the domain of the Counts of Anjou, then the domain of the house of Amboise-Chaumont. In 1214, Touraine was occupied by Philippe Auguste (1165- 1180- 1223), king of France. The Amboise-Chaumont family became his vassals. However, in 1431, Louis of Amboise (1392-1469) was condemned to death for plotting against La Trémoille (1384-1446), the favourite of King Charles VII (1403- 1422-1461). Finally pardoned, Louis of Amboise nevertheless had to renounce the Château of Amboise, which was confiscated by the Crown.

View of the castle at the Lords of Amboise period, before 1431 

Thus began the more château’s more luxurious days, notably during the reigns of Louis XI, Charles VIII and François Ier, the kings of France who made Amboise shine with a particularly rich court life.