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In the shade of the most famous castles of the Loire Valley hides a small jewel of the Renaissance to make lovers of beauty and romanticism salivate. The Château Gaillard and its magnificent park nestles at the bottom of the town of Amboise as if to hide from prying eyes and preserve its beauty. A few hundred meters from the famous Château d’Amboise and Clos Lucé, where visitors from all over the world flock, a small road discreetly takes you to this little-known Renaissance paradise. A perfect place for lovers looking for a romantic place.

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View of the flowerbeds and fountain © Château Gaillard
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View of Château Gaillard from the gardens

The “earthly paradise” of Charles VIII

In 1496, King Charles VIII, on his return from a victorious military campaign in Italy, decided to develop his “earthly paradise” in Amboise. Amazed by the beauty and splendour of Neapolitan palaces and gardens, he brings back Italian artists and craftsmen to transpose the Italian Renaissance to France. Among them, the master gardener Dom Pacello de Mercoliano who created the first Gardens of the French Renaissance and acclimatized the first orange trees in France. The royal estate of Château-Gaillard became a “laboratory” of the French Renaissance and a private residence for the kings Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I. For several centuries, the castle fell into oblivion until it was bought in 2011 by a new owner determined to give it a new lease of life. After four years of major restoration, the domain was opened to the public in 2015.

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View of the flowerbeds and fountain © Château Gaillard

All that’s missing is Adam and Eve in this wonderful paradise to make a new Eden

Charles VIII  



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Terrace overlooking the gardens

Romantic walk in the park

As soon as you enter, a feeling of wonder takes hold of you and we understand Charles VIII’s enthusiasm for his “paradise”. Statues, flowers, centuries-old trees, vegetable garden, abundant vegetation and in the distance the silhouette of the castle that is seen as set in a green setting. After passing through the “Roy Gardens”, the visitor finds himself facing the castle with its magnificent façade open to the horizon, its flowerbeds, its central fountain and its orangery. A subtle alliance between nature and culture such as the Renaissance has produced so well. The park invites you to a romantic stroll through fifteen hectares of garden and forest. Facing south and crossed by a charming little river, the park also offers trails that allow you to take a bucolic walk through the forest and discover caves and a spring. The trail overlooking the castle’s heights offers great views of the park.

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Stained glass window
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The Louis XII living room © Château Gaillard

Relaxing at the foot of the castle

After the walk in the park, you can settle, at the foot of the castle, on a very pleasant terrace overlooking the park. Ideal for a sweet or savoury break, including an orange juice produced on site and listening to the melody of the fountain combined with the birdsong. The castle and its rich decoration can also be visited but only on the ground floor as the floors are occupied by the owners. The visit is worth a look especially for the cabinet of curiosity and its unusual objects and for the magnificent stained glass windows telling the events and history of the castle. Finally to recover from his emotions, the owners had the good idea to install sun loungers in front of the castle to lie down for a few moments in this enchanting place.

Long forgotten, the royal estate of Château Gaillard is reborn today to the delight of lovers of history and beauty. And for lovers, the park offers a green setting and an ideal setting for a romantic walk. Unknown to tourists and still little visited, Château Gaillard allows you to enjoy an exceptional place in peace. A hidden treasure to discover !
Lovers, at your luggage !

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Practical Notebook

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#More information

Château Gaillard
29 allée du Pont Moulin, 37400Amboise
www.chateau-gaillard-amboise.fr
Open daily from 11am to 7pm, April to November
Price : 13 euros (guided tour included)
Note that Château Gaillard offers night tours during the summer and can be privatized for events.

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Map : © OpenStreetMap Contributors licensed by CC-BY-SA / Photograph : Personal Archives ; Photo title and photos credited © Château Gaillard: courtesy of Château Gaillard and the Photo Library of the CRT Centre-Val de Loire / Icon and logo : divider by Stan Diers and map of France by Randomhero from the Noun Project, youtube logo by Freepik, logo info by Roundicons from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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