Château du Clos Lucé

 
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A family mission

 

An historic dwelling open to all: 500 years of history

The Château du Clos Lucé was the summer residence of the Kings of France at the time of the Valois (Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I) and of the Court (Anne of Brittany, Louise of Savoie, Marguerite of Navarre).

Invited by King Francis I, Leonardo da Vinci crossed the Alps and settled in the Château du Clos Lucé, bringing pictures with him: the Mona Lisa, Saint John the Baptist and The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

He spent the last three years of his life, from 1516 to 1519, at Le Clos Lucé in Amboise, working for the monarch on grand projects, and indulging his myriad passions.

Then, in the 18th century, it became the property of the Amboise family, who saved the residence from destruction during the French Revolution.

It was in 1854 that the Saint Bris family became owners of the Château du Clos Lucé.

In 1954, Hubert and Agnès Saint Bris embarked on an exciting new adventure, opening the house of Leonardo da Vinci to the public, to make it known to the largest possible number of people. They devoted themselves to restoring the residence stone by stone, with the aid of the Monuments Historiques (French Historical Monuments), to restore to it the character and spirit that it had at the dazzling time of Leonardo da Vinci.

Their ambition was for Le Clos Lucé, according to the fervent wish of Hubert Saint Bris, to “become a high point for humanism and international thought, in a world that is searching, through its troubles, for a way through to a new Renaissance”.

In their turn, today their children share and are pursuing this mission to widen its influence.

A shared mission

Opening the residence of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest human intelligences, to the greatest number of people.

Transmitting the universal heritage, the memory and the knowledge of Leonardo da Vinci.

Making Le Clos Lucé the top site for the collection of information and the European benchmark site dedicated to the knowledge of Leonardo da Vinci and the interpretation of his work.

Le Clos Lucé is a cultural enterprise, and creates jobs, combining its dimension as a heritage and memorial site with the need for innovation and development.

The estate has developed tourist and cultural facilities centred around visiting the historical monument and the new cultural Parc Léonard de Vinci. Each year, the site receives 350,000 visitors, including 35% from abroad and is ranked as the 4th most visited monument in the Loire Valley.

Today, Le Clos Lucé is a principal site for heritage tourism and a major cultural influence in the Loire Valley, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The cultural project of Le Clos Lucé is to be a centre of scientific and technical studies dedicated to the knowledge and discoveries of Leonardo da Vinci and of the Renaissance.

A Chateau for the future

Innovation, investments, new technologies, international development, implementing a reference system and a project promoting quality and excellence, accessibility of the site for disabled visitors, taking account of sustainable development and protecting the environment: these are the strategic principles of the family business aiming to bring the Château du Clos Lucé into the 21st century.