Château Gaillard


Published on 20/08/2017

Everything grows in France’s garden…even oranges! Come and see for yourself at Château Gaillard in Amboise: a new must-visit whilst exploring the Loire châteaux!

Italian influence in Amboise

Leonardo da Vinci may be at the heart of a trip to Château du Clos Lucé and may rest in Saint Hubert Chapel at Château royal d’Amboise but another Italian made his mark on the banks of the Loire: Dom Pacello.  

Europe’s most famous gardener at the time joined Charles VIII on his return from the first Italian war and put his expertise into Château Gaillard from 1496 onwards:

Acclimatising citrus fruit

One of the main things he brought to the grounds were the first “French” flower beds with a water mirror. Meanwhile, his research into crops enabled him to acclimatise the first orange and lemon trees in France in greenhouses and potting crates.  

If you think that oranges were still rare and expensive in the mid-20thcentury, you can easily imagine the importance of growing the fruit in the 1500s! The king gave Dom Pacello Château Gaillard in exchange for 60 sols (old money) and a bouquet of orange blossom every year.

Chateau Gaillard - Amboise, Loire Valley

Useful information

Château Gaillard, in Amboise. Full rate: 11€.

Open daily 1pm-7pm, April-November.

The 15ha grounds have been open to visitors since 2016 and have undergone extensive restoration as you will see during your visit. 

Your holidays in Loire Valley

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The E.U. supports tourist sites’ Quality approach