The Parc Leonardo da Vinci at Château du Clos Lucé. Photo: Gillian Thornton

Celebrating the quincentenary of the French Renaissance in Centre-Val de Loire

Related article: Cradle of the Renaissance: A Celebration in the Loire Valley

The 500th anniversary of the French Renaissance will be celebrated in 2019 with a full programme of events across the Centre-Val de Loire region. What follows is just a selection of highlights, so be sure to check the website for more details.

INDRE-ET-LOIR

The Château Royal d’Amboise will invite visitors to explore the myths surrounding the death of Leonardo. There will also be royal re-enactment days (July 20-21) and a full summer programme of music concerts.The city of Amboise will host its own Renaissance historical revues on the weekend of September 28-29.

Join thousands of revellers at Amboise’s dazzling son et lumière show. Photo credit: ARA

The tapestry of Leonardo’s The Last Supper will leave the Vatican for the first time since its restoration for display at Château du Clos Lucé. There will also be an exhibition about Leonardo as painter and architect.

The city of Tours is set to launch four Early French Renaissance guided tours, while its Fine Arts Museum will display an installation based on Leonardo’s musical creation.

Make sure to squeeze in a visit of the Château de Chenonceau and VIP lunch or dinner cruise with La Belandre.

LOIR-ET-CHER

The 9th Chambord music festival (June 28-July 13) will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the château. Meanwhile, the Château de Blois will run the Children of the Renaissance exhibition. Why not check out the Maison de la Magie’s exhibition on 16th-century magic next door? Make sure to drop by Chaumont-sur-Loire to see Catherine de’ Medici’s bedchamber tapestries. As for the Château de Cheverny, it will host a series of events on the theme of Renaissance elegance.

The Renaissance château par excellence, Chambord is a must-visit. Photo: Sébastien Rio

EURE-ET-LOIR

A new interpretation centre will open at Château d’Anet explaining the roles of François, Henri and Diane in the French Renaissance. Special guided tours of Chartres Cathedral will focus on its 16th-century decoration.

LOIRET

The Jardins de Roquelin will spend the summer celebrating the roses of the Renaissance, and there will be more period botany at the Ilex and Grandes Bruyères arboretums.

CHER

On June 1-2, Bourges will have its Renaissance Party with shows and parades, while the city’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs will turn into the Musée de la Renaissance. There will be Renaissance-themed concerts every Saturday from June 22-July 20 at Noirlac Abbey.

Château de Valençay will hold the Candles of the Renaissance evening in August

INDRE

The Château de Valençay will hold its Candles of the Renaissance musical evening in August, and there will be an exhibition on Renaissance gardens at the Domaine de Poulaines.

TOURING EVENTS

The ‘Aerial Screw’, the flying machine designed by Leonardo da Vinci, which has been constructed as an academic and scientific cooperation between Polytech Orléans and Florence engineering school, will be exhibited in Orléans in February, before beginning its tour of the region.

From France Today magazine

Don’t miss the nightly light shows poised to set Chartres Cathedral aglow.
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