The astounding inventions of Leonardo da Vinci at the Chateau du Clos Lucé

Tank, catapult, flying machine... The genius of Leonardo da Vinci comes to life at the Chateau du Clos Lucé, in the Loire Valley, where scale models of some of his most incredible machines are unveiled. Ten inventions, each as eccentric and crazy as each other, can be experimented with in a novel way at this 3D virtual animation exhibition held in partnership with Dassault Systèmes.

The aerial screw

This screw, made of linen stretched around wire, is none other than the ancestor of the modern helicopter. The rotation is manually activated by turning the wooden cranks around a central axis.

The articulated glider

It is undoubtedly the most famous and craziest invention of Leonardo da Vinci, for whom human flight was a real obsession. To design this machine, he fanatically observed birds and bats in flight.

The tank

This is one of the most iconic inventions of the Italian master. Under a turtle-shaped shell, with well-placed openings, there are thirty guns ready to create havoc!

The catapult

Whilst in the service of Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci conceived a number of formidable war machines, including this catapult.

The odometer

Behind this somewhat unwieldy name is actually the ancestor of our measuring wheel. At each turn of the wheel on this barrow, a clever mechanism drops a pebble into a basket. At the end, you simply count the number of pebbles to calculate the distance travelled.

The mechanical drum

The Maestro's inventions also touch on the musical arts with this instrument, possibly designed to be used at street parties but more likely for military parades.

New immersive galleries

Dedicated to the inventions of the Italian master, Le Clos Lucé is at the forefront of innovation: from 2021, Parc Leonardo da Vinci will have two new exhibition areas: the first gallery will present the artist's greatest masterpieces in an immersive 15-minute show, while the second gallery will recall Leonardo's architectural projects through facsimiles, digital tables, 3D animations and even an arcade video game.
Facsimiles, digital tables, 3D animations and even an arcade video game. Enough to keep the attention of young and old alike!

Discover the new exhibition galleries at Le Clos Lucé (External link)

About Le Clos Lucé, the last home of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life at the Château du Clos Lucé, working on numerous projects for the King of France, surrounded by his students. He received distinguished guests, the great and good of the kingdom, ambassadors and his Italian artistic friends at the king's court, including Domenico da Cortona, known as the Boccador, the future architect of Chambord. Leonardo da Vinci died in his room at Le Clos Lucé on 2 May 1519.

Recommendations and advice
Is the town of Amboise one of your stops during your stay in the Loire Valley? With the royal castle nearby, Le Clos Lucé offers you a sublime journey into the past in a magnificent setting. It's a cultural and leisure area that is as popular with adults as it is with children. A few precautions are essential to ensure a successful visit. The Valley of the Kings is very popular in high season. If possible, plan your visit during the low season. If you can't postpone your visit, remember to book your accommodation and activities well in advance, and consider staggering your visits. Finally, do your bit to preserve the natural landscapes of the Val de Loire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by adopting a few simple reflexes: favour public transport and soft modes of transport such as cycling, and treat yourself to some delicious local specialities. Have fun discovering the genius of the Loire Valley!

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Chateau du Clos Lucé in the Loire Valley