Lovely, lovely castles in Tours.
The Chateau de Chambord. This castle is well-known for its double spiral staircase, supposedly designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Chateau de Chambord.
Amboise Castle from across the river. Incidentally, Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years here, at the invitaion of King of France - his estate is behind the castle to the left.
Facade above the entrance to Chateau de Blois, which actually contains a mixture of medieval, Renaissance and classical styles. Note the salamander at the bottom which is the emblem of Francis I.
Amboise Castle, which was the scene of much schemings and political assasinations by Catherine de Medici (of the same Medici's of Renaissance fame), and mother of Queen Margot - whom I knew from the movie 'Queen Margot'. The importance of the Loire Valley in French royalty gradually declined after Margot's marriage to the Henri of Navarre.
Side view of towers of Amboise Castle. Apparently, many Protestants were executed and hung from the castle walls during the turbulent times in Christianity when there was much violence between Catholics and the Martin Luther-inspired Protestants.
View of Loire River from castle walls of Amboise Castle.