Where A Great Man Rests, Leonardo da Vinci at the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, Amboise

March 25, 2013 — 12 Comments

After France captured Milan, Italy in December of 1515, Leonardo da Vinci, who was living at the Vatican, was commissioned by King Francis I to design and develop a rather interesting, if not bizarre, prototype. It was a mechanical lion that could walk, stop, rear on its hind legs, and open its chest to present a cluster of lilies. I’m not sure how serious this was, because the design never got past one sketch by the master. However, Leonardo da Vinci accepted the job as the philosopher, architect, engineer, and painter, and moved to Amboise in the Loire Valley of central France in 1516.

By this time, Mr. da Vinci was 64 years old, and had lived a fulfilling life with the creation of many notable works of art, design, inventions, and writings. He was paid handsomely and was given the residence, Clos-Lucé, which was nearby the Royal Château of Amboise. If you haven’t seen it yet, please read my first post from this part of France, Finding Leonardo Da Vinci, My Visit to the Château d’Amboise.

 Just outside of the Chapel of Saint-Hubert on the grounds of the Château d’Amboise, and, in front of this well manicured hedge, this is the great Leonardo da Vinci.

Statue, white, hedge, manicured, blue sky Leonardo da vinci, Camino de Santiago, France

The Chapel of Saint-Hubert was built between 1491 and 1496, the time of great expansion around the château and when it was at its peak grandeur. In fact, the entire complex was much larger at that time than it is today. This is the side view of the chapel. The main entrance for tourists is just below.

Chapel of Saint-Hubert, spire, blue sky, stone, Leonardo da Vinci



The front façade of the chapel. Look at the detail on the archivolt. Let’s take a closer look…

Chapel of Saint-Hubert, blue sky, tree, Spire, church, archivolt



Chapel of Saint-Hubert Gothic Carving, intricate, stone, sculpture, Leonardo da Vinci



 Now, let’s go inside. Please be quiet.

Chapel of Saint-Hubert Entrance, sign, Leonardo da Vinci

The chapel is small and is somewhat separated into the nave and tomb area. I really liked the stained-glass windows. I’m not sure how old they are. If you’re in the Loire Valley, make sure you visit the cathedral at Tours, Saint Gatien’s Cathedral, which has amazing stained-glass windows. Let’s take a closer look at three inside the chapel…

Château d'Amboise, Windows, colorful, stone, Leonardo da Vinci



Château d'Amboise, Windows, colorful, stone, Leonardo da Vinci



The details of not only the stained-glass windows were intricate, but so were the features around it.

Château d'Amboise, Windows, colorful, stone, Leonardo da Vinci



 Intricate stone details, Leonardo da Vinci



Leonardo da Vinci’s Final Years

Leonardo spent the last three years of his life at Amboise and became good friends with Francis I. He passed away on May 2, 1519 at the age of 67. Reportedly, and some say arguably, he died in the arms of Francis I. Upon Leonardo da Vinci’s death, he was entombed at this very spot, inside the Chapel of Saint-Hubert.

 flowers, plot, tile, bronze plaque, Leonardo da Vinci



 bronze plaque, Leonardo da Vinci



This plaque was not in English but commemorates the birth and death of Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo da Vinci Inscription, sign, inscription



A closer look at the statue, just outside where he now rests.

Leonardo da Vinci Statue, Château d'Amboise, hedge, Chapel, white stone

The death of Leonardo da Vinci marked the end of an era at the Château du Clos Lucé. Over subsequent years, there were numerous owners or tenants and the building was almost destroyed during the French Revolution. As for that lion prototype, interestingly, it was finally built from the original sketches in 2009. Please read, Pride of Da Vinci’s genius walks again after 500 years, from The Independent.

I hope you enjoyed this post. On my next post from the Loire Valley, Finding Leonardo Da Vinci, My Visit to Château du Clos Lucé, I’ll take you to Leonardo da Vinci’s last home at Clos Lucé. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


12 responses to Where A Great Man Rests, Leonardo da Vinci at the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, Amboise

  1. Stunning photos. Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

    • Thanks so much, Danylle. If you’re in the area, I would really recommend a visit to the Château. I’ll have a few more posts from the Loire Valley to come 🙂

  2. Awesome photos Randall. I never really even knew where he was buried. This is very insightful. Also, your posts are awesome and this site is awesome. I had a chance to hike a small portion of El Camino de Santiago while in Switzerland and it was an amazing experience so the subject is close to my heart.

    • Thanks Erik. I didn’t know that da Vinci was buried here either until I was researching places in France that I wanted to visit before I left home. While I walked the Camino del Norte last summer, I met a group that were walking from their hometown in Belgium, not only to Santiago de Compostela, but to Finisterre. Now that’s a long walk!

  3. Beautiful architecture and history. I missed this a few years ago when I spent some time in the Loire Valley but it will not happen again should I return (and I sure hope I do!). Great pix too, btw.

    • Hi Raul. Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I regret that I missed many of the other chateaux in the area and will visit when I return. I’m sure I could spend a month in the Loire Valley. I’ll have more post from Amboise upcoming. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Thanks for the extremely enlightening information and final resting place of Leonardo Da Vinci.
    Your article was extremely wonderful and had me totally absorbed….Looking forward to reading more great articles from you

    • Hi Norman. Glad you enjoyed my post. It was a great visit to where a great man now rests. I also learned a lot writing the four posts from Amboise. If you are ever in the Loire Valley, please make sure you stop by the Royal Château of Amboise. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Randall – interesting stuff. Just thought I would let u know your blog is still being seen. Found it through a link from MSN that was talking about DaVinci.

  6. Very nice photos and information! There is a replica (Belmont Mausoleum) of St. Hubert Chapel located in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

    (scroll to the bottom)

    • David, sorry to take so long. Your comment went into spam. Thanks for the links. Very interesting! The Belmont Mausoleum does look the same as St. Hubert Chapel. Good description on the first website too.

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