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In the Loire Valley, 2019 is all about the Renaissance. Exhibitions, shows, and tours... The region’s chateaux and other monuments will showcase a fascinating period of cultural and artistic renewal.

500 years of Renaissance in the Loire Valley

Clos Luce

In 2019, the Loire Valley will celebrate a milestone date of the French Renaissance: 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the first stone being laid to build the Chateau de Chambord, and the birth of a Renaissance Queen of France, Catherine de Medici. This year is your chance to relive this period of flourishing arts and culture through a rich and varied programme of events.

Festivities are high on the list of events at the bijou and beautifully restored Chateau du Clos Lucé which was the last home of the Italian genius’ last residence. From June to September, visitors can enjoy an exhibition entitled “Leonardo da Vinci, his students, the Last Supper, and François I”. A tapestry of the Last Supper, copied from Leonardo da Vinci’s mural, will leave its home at the Vatican to go on show in France for the first time. Throughout the summer, Clos Lucé will be brought to life through a series of events based on the gastronomy and great discoveries of the Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci’s heritage


A short walk away at the Royal Chateau of Amboise, an exhibition entitled “1519, Death of Leonardo da Vinci: building a legend” will be held. Poignantly, da Vinci is buried in the beautiful Chapel at this gorgeous chateau (from May to August).

Château de Chambord

At the stunning Chateau de Chambord Chateau, a Renaissance jewel of architecture, the past meets future with “Chambord 1519-2019: from utopia to reality”, an exhibition running from May to September. It looks back at the chateau’s history and its virtual transformation into a 21st century utopia by international architects. From 28 June to 13 July, the 2019 edition of the Chambord Festival will also celebrate the chateau’s 500th anniversary.

Renaissance living


Catherine de Medici will be celebrated in an exhibition entitled “The Queen’s tapestries", at the Chateau of Chaumont-sur-Loire (September to December). You can also discover a restored version of the Queen’s apothecary at Chenonceau Chateau where she liked to spend time with her herbalist, Nostradamus.

A range of events will shine the spotlight on how people lived in Renaissance times. The “Children of the Renaissance” will take place at the Royal Chateau of Blois, and “Renaissance Living” at the castle of Châteaudun, both running May to September. In Bourges, the “Artisan Curiosity Shop" will teach visitors about Renaissance crafts, while botanists will be feted at Grandes Bruyères Arboretum, in Orleans Forest.

Candlelit Chateaux

Azay le Rideau

From May to October, the Chateau of Valençay will celebrate its own renaissance through a series of events and tours as well as the Chandelles de la Renaissance, the exquisite gardens lit by candlelight.

Visit the Chateau of Azay le Rideau throughout July and August to see it lit up and looking stunning. The Chateau of Villandry will host “Nights of a Thousand Fires”, candlelit nights in the gardens, first weekends of July and August.

Details of all events can be found at: https://www.vivadavinci2019.fr