Amboise is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies on the banks of the Loire River, 17 miles (27 km) east of Tours. Today a small market town, it was once home of the French royal court. The town of Amboise is also only about 11 miles (18 km) away from the historic Château de Chenonceau, situated on the Cher River near the small village of Chenonceaux. Its former name was Ambacia, from the old name of the river and marsh Amasse.
Amboise has many interesting sites. The city is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France, whose Château d'Amboise, which dominates the town, is located just 500 m (1,640 feet) away. The narrow streets contain some good examples of timbered housing.
Just outside of the city is the Pagode de Chanteloup, a 44 m (144.4 feet) tall Chinese Pagoda built in 1775 by the Duke of Choiseul. The Pagoda is seven levels high, with each level slightly smaller than the last one. An interior staircase to reach all levels is open to the public.
The Musée de la Poste (in the Hôtel Joyeuse) is a museum tracing the history of the postal delivery service.A 19th-century fountain by John Oswald of a turtle topped by a teddy bear figure, standing in front of the spot where the markets are held.
The royal Château at Amboise is a château located in Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. Confiscated by the monarchy in the 15th century, it became a favoured royal residence and was extensively rebuilt. King Charles VIII died at the château in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel. The château fell into decline from the second half of the 16th century and the majority of the interior buildings were later demolished, but some survived and have been restored, along with the outer defensive circuit of towers and walls. It has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1840.
Château d'Amboise was built on a spur above the River Loire. The strategic qualities of the site were recognised before the medieval construction of the castle, and a Gallic oppidum was built there. In the late 9th century Ingelgarius was made viscount of Orléans and through his mother was related to Hugh the Abbot, tutors to the French kings. Ingelgarius married Adelais, a member of a prominent family (a bishop and archbishop were her uncles) who controlled Château d'Amboise. He was later made Count of the Angevins and his rise can be attributed to his political connections and reputation as a soldier. Château d'Amboise would pass through Ingelgarius and Adelais' heirs, and he was succeeded by their son, Fulk the Red. As Fulk the Red expanded his territory, Amboise, Loches, and Villentroisformed the core of his possessions. Amboise lay on the eastern frontier of the Angevins holdings.
Amboise and its castle descended through the family to Fulke Nerra in 987. Fulk had to contend with the ambitions of Odo I, Count of Blois who wanted to expand his own territory into Anjou. Odo I could call on the support of many followers and instructed Conan, Count of Rennes, Gelduin of Saumr, and Abbot Robert of Saint-Florent de Saumur to harass Fulk's properties. While Conan was busy on Anjou's western border, Gelduin and Robert attempted to isolate the easternmost castles of Amboise and Loches by raiding the Saumurois and disrupting communications. To further threaten Amboise, fortifications were erected at Chaumont and Montsoreau, while Saint-Aignan was garrisoned.