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France Trip, August 2012

Thursday, August 23

This morning everyone slept in. Pat took Claire and Dave to the Tours train station so they could catch their train to Switzerland. After a big lunch, we drove to Amboise, which was the home of the French royal court in the 16th century. We visited the chateau, which was the residence of the king. The city is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France (Henry VIII's rival in Europe). This was true Renaissance culture, hosting artists, scientists, musicians, poets and thinkers at court. The chateau at Amboise was home to Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots for much of her early life, being raised there at the French court of Henry II.

The most impressive part of this outing was the display of many of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions in the basement of Clos Lucé manor. Replicas were constructed based on da Vinci's designs and using the materials available at the time he was alive. Many of the engineering and designs are still used today. He had a remarkable mind. There was also a huge park outside the manor, with larger versions of the inventions for children to manipulate and play on.

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