Vive Leonardo, vive la Renaissance: celebrating 500 years of French culture

The Château de Chambord, one of the centerpieces of the French Renaissance court.

France has had many golden ages—the glittering days of Versailles, the Jazz Age iconoclasm—but perhaps none as glorious as the glimmering French Renaissance. A cultural explosion of art, philosophy, and architecture unparalleled north of the Alps left France equally metamorphosed. France's most stunning ornamental gardens, soaring châteaux, and precious treasures come from this era birthed with the arrival of Leonardo da Vinci to the court of Francis I. To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the master artist's death at the Château Clos-Lucé, the Loire Valley and are spending 2019 celebrating the French Renaissance, a time of innovation and art not quite gone by.