The residence of kings and the resting place of their codebreakers.
|Chateau Royal d'Amboise.|
This walking tour visits the Royal Chateau of Amboise and the Eglise Saint Denis. The chateau is a well known architectural and historical gem which dominates the small picturesque town. The nearby Saint Denis's Church houses some extraordinary funerary monuments, whose true history is not widely known, even by the locals. The two places make an exceptional day out and can easily be done as a day trip from Paris or Tours.
|Tomb of the Babou family, Saint Denis, Amboise.|
I'll tell the stories of the various royal occupants, their triumphs and sorrows, births and deaths in this historic place. Because my background is in the care and management of historic sites I will also talk about the behind the scenes aspects of running a historic monument.
|Tomb of a member of the Babou family, Saint Denis, Amboise.|
At Saint Denis's Church I will show you some extraordinary funerary monuments belonging to royal courtiers. I will tell you the fascinating background to these expressive sculptures. The church is medieval and I will point out some amusing carvings typical of the period.
|Chateau Royal d'Amboise.|
*Meet at the entrance of the Chateau Royal of Amboise (at the bottom of the entrance ramp opposite Bigot’s pastry shop).
*Visit the grounds and interior of the chateau and chapel.
*Walk through the centre of old Amboise, making short stops for photographs or at any shops that appeal.
*Visit the church of Saint Denis to see the funerary monuments.
*I will leave you at the church.
Duration: 3 hours.
Note that this tour does not visit the Manoir de Clos Luce or take afternoon tea at Bigot's, but I am happy to point you in the right direction for an independent visit at the end of our tour.
This tour is easy to customise and extend to include a visit to a wine boutique for a tasting, and/or lunch at a typical local restaurant. Email me for a price.
This is a walking tour. There are not too many stairs, but Amboise is not flat and there are a number of ramps and paved slopes to walk up and/or down. Please wear closed comfortable shoes for the tour as we will be on our feet a lot. There are some opportunities to sit in the chateau grounds, and of course, you can take a pew in the church.
Price: €200 for groups of up to 4 people. Admission tickets are not included.
Booking: email firstname.lastname@example.org at least one day before you wish to take the tour. Tours can be conducted on any day of the week, throughout the year, at a time to suit you.
About the Guide: I am Susan Walter. I specialise in story telling, the weaving together of this fact and that, this character and their relationship with another. It is a technique which brings alive the history of what is sometimes just stones to look at, but those stones may lead to something wonderfully evocative and provide a better understanding of the past. Much of the history of the Loire Valley is about important characters which you will have heard of, but there is a great deal of hidden history too -- characters who have been forgotten in modern times, motivations for deeds which seem inexplicable can become clear, how different life was then, but also how similar. If you want to know who would graffiti a royal chapel and why, and why it isn't who most guides will tell you it is, then take a tour with me. If you want to know about the history of bathing and personal hygiene, and how that isn't quite what you think it is, then take a tour with me. If you want to meet fascinating characters from history who really made a difference, often women, then take a tour with me.
English speaking, born and raised in Australia, I lived for 12 years in England, where I worked for the National Trust in their Historic Buildings Conservation Department, and now in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Loire Valley for more than a decade. I am an active heritage and nature conservation professional with experience of working with conservators and curators to care for historic objects and buildings, and with ecologists caring for our natural environment. Deeply embedded in the local scene I speak quite good French and enjoy life in a small village near some fabulous chateaux and lovely countryside. I'm always happy to talk about life in France and am friends with many wine makers and local food producers. I love to cook and to eat and will make sure you have an authentic dining experience while you are in the Loire Valley. Interested in the quirky and little known local histories, and I can't wait to pass them on to you.