The royal Château at Amboise is a château located in Amboise, in the
Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. Confiscated by the
monarchy in the 15th century, it became a favoured royal residence and was
extensively rebuilt. King Charles VIII died at the château in 1498 after hitting
his head on a door lintel. It has been recognised as a monument historique by
the French Ministry of Culture since 1840.
Château d'Amboise was built on
a spur above the River Loire. The strategic qualities of the site were
recognised before the medieval construction of the castle, and a Gallic oppidum
was built there. In the late 9th century Ingelgarius was made viscount of
Orléans and through his mother was related to Hugh the Abbot, tutors to the
French kings. Ingelgarius married Adelais, a member of a prominent family (a
bishop and archbishop were her uncles) who controlled Château d'Amboise. He was
later made Count of the Angevins and his rise can be attributed to his political
connections and reputation as a soldier. Château d'Amboise would pass through
Ingelgarius and Adelais' heirs, and he was succeeded by their son, Fulk the Red.
As Fulk the Red expanded his territory, Amboise, Loches, and Villentrois formed
the core of his possessions. Amboise lay on the eastern frontier of the Angevins
Amboise and its castle descended through the family to Fulke
Nerra in 987. Fulk had to contend with the ambitions of Odo I, Count of Blois
who wanted to expand his own territory into Anjou. Odo I could call on the
support of many followers and instructed Conan, Count of Rennes, Gelduin of
Saumr, and Abbot Robert of Saint-Florent de Saumur to harass Fulk's properties.
While Conan was busy on Anjou's western border, Gelduin and Robert attempted to
isolate the easternmost castles of Amboise and Loches by raiding the Saumurois
and disrupting communications. To further threaten Amboise fortifications were
erected at Chaumont and Montsoreau, while Saint-Aignan was garrisoned.