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Château at Amboise: View of the château above its surrounding town with the Loire river below
First built on a promontory overlooking the Loire River to control a strategic ford in the eleventh century.
Built in the eleventh century on a promontory overlooking the Loire River to control a strategic ford that was replaced in the Middle Ages by a bridge. Expanded and improved over time, on 4 September 1434 it was seized by Charles VII of France. Once in royal hands, the château became a favourite of French kings; Charles VIII decided to rebuild it extensively, beginning in 1492 at first in the French late Gothic Flamboyant style and then after 1495 employing two Italian mason-builders, Domenico da Cortona and Fra Giocondo, who provided at Amboise some of the first Renaissance decorative motifs seen in French architecture. The names of three French builders are preserved in the documents: Colin Biart, Guillaume Senault and Louis Armangeart.