Newsletter_Celebrating 500 years since the Renaissance in the Loire Valley

  • Château Amboise

    Château Amboise - © CRT Centre Val de Loire- V. Treney

    Château Amboise

    Château Amboise - © CRT Centre Val de Loire- V. Treney

  • Château Chambord

    Château Chambord - © Ludovic Letot

    Château Chambord

    Château Chambord - © Ludovic Letot

  • Château Villandry

    Château Villandry - © CRT Centre Val de Loire- V. Treney

    Château Villandry

    Château Villandry - © CRT Centre Val de Loire- V. Treney

Newsletter_Celebrating 500 years since the Renaissance in the Loire Valley Amboise fr

In 2019, the region is celebrating its Renaissance heritage, marked by the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the birth of Catherine de Medici, and the moment the first stone of the Château de Chambord was laid.


The year 2019 is rich in events celebrating the Centre - Loire Valley. The cradle of art and architecture during the French Renaissance, the region was the setting of numerous innovations and discoveries, woven among the patchwork of châteaux like Chambord, Clos Lucé, Blois, Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau, and those of Amboise.

 

The Centre - Loire Valley was the crucible of contemporary intellectuals of the Humanism movement and the Reformation. The great thinkers like John Calvin, Erasmus, Guillaum Budé, and François Rabelais all frequented the University of Orléans. And, of course, there is the name that is synonymous with the Renaissance—Leonardo da Vinci, who took up residence in Clos Lucé in 1516.

Between history and the future

In 2019, the region is celebrating its Renaissance heritage, marked by the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the birth of Catherine de Medici, and the moment the first stone of the Château de Chambord was laid. During the entire anniversary year, events, expositions, scientific symposiums, visits, and regional and European-themed courses revive the spirit of the Renaissance while confronting modern challenges, creating a dialogue between the history and the future.

A region of considerable heritage

The program for this year of celebration, currently underway, promises to unveil incredible events such as “Leonardo da Vinci, his students, The Last Supper, and François I” at Clos Lucé, and “The art de vivre in the Renaissance” at Châteaudun. A traveling digital show is planned, as well as dedicated tours, some of which use augmented reality.

 

Another reason to (re)discover this region of considerable heritage: 3 UNESCO (the Bourges and Chartres cathedrals as well as the Loire Valley itself), 6 cities of art and history, 65 museums, and 70 parcs and gardens.

Leonardo da Vinci’s heritage

The festivities kick off at the Chateau du Clos Lucé, 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, is being shipped over for the exhibition from the Vatican. Throughout the summer, the Clos Lucé will also be brought to life through a series of evening events based on the gastronomy and great discoveries of the Renaissance.

 

 Not far away at Amboise Chateau, the centrepiece of exhibition entitled “1519, Death of Leonardo da Vinci: building a legend” is F.G Ménageot’s painting, “Death of Leonardo da Vinci”, and a collection of engravings. Running from May to August, the event also takes a contemporary point of view, with five canvases depicting details of the painting being made by the Italian graffiti artists, RAVO.The Italian genius’ heritage will also be the centre of an exhibition entitled “Inspiration from life, from Leonardo da Vinci to today” at Sologne museum in Romorantin-Lanthenay (summer 2019), as well as at the Fondation du Doute, in Blois, where young French and Italian artists will work together to build a machine on wheels using leftover technology.

 

At Chambord Chateau, 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 also be celebrated, notably in an exhibition entitled “The Queen’s tapestries", at Chaumont-sur-Loire Chateau (September to December), and visitors will be able to become totally immersed in the queen’s very own world. Curious visitors can also discover a restored version of her apothecary house at Chenonceau Chateau.


A range of events will shine the spotlight on how people lived in Renaissance times. One such exhibition is the “Children of the Renaissance” at the Royal Chateau of Blois, and another is “Renaissance Living” at Châteaudun Chateau, both running May to September. In Bourges, the “Artisan Curiosity Shop" will teach visitors about Renaissance crafts, while it’s botanists who will be feted at Grandes Bruyères Arboretum, in Orleans Forest. Last but not least, at Noirlac Abbey, visitors can enjoy an “Augmented Concert”: an immersive and augmented listening experience that lets you listen to concerts from the conductor’s pulpit, from the audience, or outdoors.

Candlelit Chateaus

From May to October, Valençay Chateau will celebrate its own renaissance through a series of events: exclusive tours of the restored framework, the Talleyrand and his Ancient Instruments Festival, as well as the Chandelles de la Renaissance, an event that will see the chateau and its gardens glow by candlelight. Just like Villandry Chateau during the Nuits de Mille Feux. Azay-le-Rideau Chateau will also be blazing all summer, with a light and sound show about the Renaissance.

 

There’s something for kids, too, with Doulce Mémoire in Tours, and La Rêveuse, a Baroque music ensemble, on tour with Opéra-Bus.


This year of celebration will be topped off with a series of touring events. Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine, the “Aerial Screw", will be brought back to life and feel right at home at the Collégiale Saint-Pierre Le Puellier in Orleans, before setting off on a tour of the region. Orleans, but also Bourges, Blois, Amboise, Chambord and Tours will also host the Renaissance(S) digital show from 15 August to 15 September. An immersive experience guaranteed!

 

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