The Loire valley in France is one of the most spectacular destinations for travelers who love history and centuries-old grandiose castles. When you drive or ride a bicycle along the banks of river Loire (or one of the nearby rivers that flow into Loire) you will find a charming village after another. Some of the villages have been built around a castle, others have other characteristics that invite you to stop and take a break. The village of Amboise has been built around a beautiful castle that is open for visitors who also get a virtual tour to the year 1518.
A company called Cent Millions de Pixels has developed an application for the Chateau Royal d’Amboise that runs on the Apple iPad mini. When visitors enter the chateau, they can pay 5 Euros extra for the virtual tour that takes them to the castle as it was 500 years earlier. Visitors get an iPad and headphones from the reception. As they explore the castle, they can view the iPad and see what has happened in that particular spot in 1518. The application is French with English subtitles. A castle tour without a sword fight is not a complete tour, so the application has a built-in game as well.
View the video that shows how it is possible to explore the castle in two time zones:
The history of the Château d’Amboise starts from the 11th century when the Count of Anjou built the castle as a defense construction. During the Renaissance period (in the 15th and 16th centuries), the castle was refurnished according to the instruction from Charles VII, Louis XII and Francois I.
Even the great genius Leonardo da Vinci lived in Amboise. Francois I invited Leonardo Da Vinci to reside in Amboise as his first painter, architect and engineer. Da Vinci arrived in 1516 and spent the remaining three years of his life living and working in the nearby Chateau du Clos Lucé. It is connected to the Chateau d’Amboise by an underground passage. Leonardo Da Vinci died in Amboise in 1519 and was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert on the embankments of the Chateau d’Amboise.