Château de Meillant: Detail, looking towards the Tower of the Lion in the distance
First built in the 1300s as a fortified castle, it was acquired in 1453 by Pierre of Amboise, lord of Chaumont-sur-Loire. His grandson Charles II d'Amboise, governor of Gênes and of Milan, viceroy of Lombardy (1473-1511) brought back Milanese influence to the architecture; this period of the building is Flamboyant Gothic. Meillant shows two faces to the visitor. The southwest front is medieval, with massive towers facing a moat. The northeast façade is highly ornate, showing its architectural kinship with the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley.