In the heart of the Loire Valley in Amboise lies the Château du Clos Lucé, the last residence (from 1516 – 1519) of Leonardo da Vinci. Step inside and meet one of the greatest minds of all time…
1. ENTER LEONARDO DA VINCI’S FRENCH RESIDENCE
At the invitation of King Francis I, Leonardo da Vinci left Italy and moved to the Château du Clos Lucé in the autumn of 1516. At the age of 64, he crossed the Alps, bringing with him three of his masterpieces, including La Joconde (Mona Lisa), as well as his notebooks and manuscripts.
Appointed “First painter, engineer and architect to the King”, he put his talents at the service of the sovereign who had a real affection for him, and worked tirelessly on many projects in his workshop. He studied the plans for a perfect castle – which would partly inspire the architect Dominique de Cortone (known as the Boccador) for the Château de Chambord – and imagined a double staircase.
2. FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS VISIONARY GENIUS
Leonardo is famous for his profound humanism, the arts, science and philosophy, but he was also a visionary engineer. Forty models of his inventions have been reconstructed at Le Clos Lucé using materials from the period: the first aeroplane, car, helicopter, tank and swing bridge…
3. UNMISSABLE: DA VINCI’S WORKSHOPS RECREATED
In the artist’s studio, faithful to the atmosphere of the typical “Bottega” of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci added the finishing touches to his works. In the library, old books are displayed alongside an astonishing cabinet of curiosities. In the office, there is an immersive and emotional encounter between the visitor and Leonardo da Vinci through an audiovisual production using “ghost technology”.
4. 2019, A HISTORIC ANNIVERSARY YEAR
Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, 1519, after dictating the provisions of his will to his notary. 500 years on, the Clos Lucé is poised to celebrate the anniversary of the death of the Italian genius on its premises.
5. THINGS TO DO IN 2019: EXCEPTIONAL EVENTS
April 13 – April 23: “Effervesciences”. Fun and educational activities, creative workshops, exhibitions and other surprises, to celebrate the effervescence of the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci 500 years after his death.
May 2: Festivities in honour of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci.
June 6 – September 2: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, a masterpiece of gold and silk, will be exhibited for the first time outside the Vatican along with some 30 loans from national and international museums.
July 18, 19 and 20: Les Héritiers (The Heirs), a theatrical and musical nocturnal adventure created by Martin Bellemare and Didier Girauldon (in French).
September 27, 28 and 29: To mark this anniversary year, famous composer and musician Jordi Savall will create a special programme in homage to Leonardo da Vinci on the 27th. On the 28th and 29th, young talents will be invited to take part, in the spirit of passing on knowledge.
Detailed programme and information: www.vinci-closluce.com/en 
Images © Châtéau Du Close Luce – Parc Leonardo Da Vinci. Copyright Léonard De Serres