Set on the widest portion of the Loire river, our first stop in the valley was Amboise. It's an inviting, charming town with a hilltop chateau and a fun old town. During the 1500s, Amboise served as the royal residence of François I.
Half-timber with brick and flowers.
From across the river we looked back towards the Chateau Royal d'Amboise. Built in the late 1400s, it was home to the likes of Charles VIII and Louis XII.
Homes on the Ile d'Or.
The heart of town is a lovely pedestrian area. In the 15th century, this was the Champs-Elysees of Amboise as the town spread out from the foot of the castle.
The Loire is the last "untamed" river in France with no dams and no mechanisms to control periodic flooding. The region's many famous Chateaux line up along this river and its tributaries because before modern transportation methods, large stones to build such places were best moved by boat.
The Church of St. Denis stands on a site that was once a temple to Mars in ancient Roman times. According to local legend, God sent a bolt of lightning that destroyed the statue of Mars and Christians then took over the spot.
The impressive Tour de l'Horloge clocktower dates from the 15th century and is built into a section of the town wall that once fortified the city.
The golden hour!