Loire Chateaux: Amboise

| October 23, 2011
loire chateaux: amboise

Château d’Amboise reflection in the River Loire

Loire Chateaux Series: Amboise, a perfect base to explore chateaux

Today’s photo series is from Amboise, France in the heart if the Loire Valley. We picked Amboise as our home base for exploring the chateaux of the Loire for a couple of reasons. For one, it was close to Trip Advisor’s top rated accommodation – the Chateau des Ormeaux Amboise. And two, it was a close and convenient place to grab a bite or anything else we needed while staying in the area. What’s more, Amboise has its very own chateau! The map below shows all of the chateaux we visited while in the Loire Valley, as well as the place we stayed and its proximity to Amboise. The drive from our chateau to Amboise was about ten minutes. The drive to Chambord in the upper right was an easy 55 minutes in the car. As you can gather, even though the distances look far on the map, they really aren’t. Just plan your days around chateaux either east or west of the city of Tours and you are good to go!

loire chateaux: chateau map

Map of the chateaux we visited

Below is a shot of the Loire river taken fron the bridge leading to Amboise and the chateau. It is a lazy and peaceful river that meanders through the valley. There seemed to be a river on the left or right of everywhere we drove. The landscape is quite beautiful in the area and very serene. Imagine tiny roads, without much traffic, cutting between farms with an occasional chicken or rooster crossing the road.

Look to the upper left of the photo below and you will see a small boat by the river’s bank. The sunset photo just below is of the same boat. Since we were in Amboise several time during our stay, I was able to plan a post dinner shot of the boat just as the sun was setting on the river.

loire chateaux: loire river

Late afternoon on the River Loire

The timing worked out well for the shot but it was close. When the sun is this low on the horizon it goes down very fast. A difference of 30 seconds can make or break the photo. I used a graduated neutral density filter on this photo to reduce the brightness of the sky but not the water. If I hadn’t, the camera would have exposed for the bright sky and the water would have come out very dark. The filter helps balance the lighting in the photo so the camera can capture all the light values in the scene. I will cover the use of these filters someday in another post.

loire chateaux: loire river

As the sun sets on the River Loire

Below is a photo of a typical street in Amboise. The city is relatively small with a population of only 13,000 people. Donna and I had a wonderful dinner there, which was at a place recommended in Rick Steves’ iBook on the Loire Valley.

loire chateaux: amboise street

A typical street in Amboise, France

Château d’Amboise was added to over the centuries. One of the additions included the Chapel Saint-Hubert, which was built in the 1490’s. The photo below is of the interior of the chapel. The tomb of Leonardo daVinci, who died in Amboise on May 2, 1519 at age 67, is just to the left of where I took this photo.

loire chateaux: amboise chapel

The chapel interior at Château d’Amboise

loire chateaux: amboise chapel detail

Chapel detail at the Château d’Amboise

loire chateaux: amboise exterior

The exterior of Château d’Amboise

As always, thanks for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed this Loire Chateau Series on Amboise. I love hearing from you and if you have any questions about travel to these areas, just drop me a line and I will do what I can to help. I am getting ready to book flights to Scotland for next year. I need to start researching for that trip, which is always part of the fun!

Other Chateaux in this series

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Category: France, Photography, Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. These shots are fantastic Lee – gorgeous looking clouds certainly help the overall aesthetics of the photos!

  2. A.Barlow says:

    Wow that place looks awesome! You did a nice job with these shots. Grats.

  3. ConservativelyBohemian says:

    Just stunningly beautiful! If I could afford a place like this, and the staff, oh what a glorious place to live! Can’t even imagine it, but those helix staircases are gorgeous!