1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Amboise

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AMBOISE, a town of central France in the department of Indre-et-Loire, on the left bank of the Loire, 12 m. E. of Tours by the Orléans railway. Pop. (1906) 4632. Amboise owes its celebrity to the imposing château which overlooks the Loire from the rocky eminence above the town. The Logis du Roi, the most important portion, was the work of Charles VIII.; the other wing was built under Louis XII. and Francis I. The ramparts are strengthened by two massive towers containing an inclined plane on which horses and carriages may ascend. The chapel of St Hubert, said to contain the remains of Leonardo da Vinci, who was summoned to Amboise by Francis I., king of France, and died there in 1519, is in the late Gothic style; a delicately carved relief over the doorway represents the conversion of St Hubert. The hôtel de ville is established in a mansion of Renaissance architecture; a town gateway of the 15th century, surmounted by a belfry, is also of architectural interest. Iron-founding, wool-weaving, and the manufacture of boots and farm implements are among the industries.

Amboise at the end of the 11th century was a lordship under the counts of Anjou, one of whom, Hugues I., rebuilt the ancient castle. Its territory was united to the domain of the crown of France by Charles VII. about the middle of the 15th century, and thenceforth the château became a favourite residence of the French kings. The discovery in 1560 of the “conspiracy of Amboise,” a plot of the Huguenots to remove Francis II. from the influence of the house of Guise, was avenged by the death of 1200 members of that party. In 1563 Amboise gave its name to a royal edict allowing freedom of worship to the Huguenot nobility and gentry. After that period the château was frequently used as a state prison, and Abd-el-Kader was a captive there from 1848 to 1852. In 1872 it was restored by the National Assembly to the house of Orleans, to which it had come by inheritance from the duke of Penthièvre in the latter half of the 18th century.