Amboise, Chapelle du château

Témoignage de John Evelyn (1644)

2nd May. We took boat again, passing by Charmont, a proud castle on the left hand ; before it is a sweet island, delicious shaded with tall trees. A little distance from hence, we went on shore at Amboise, a very agreeable village, built of stone, and the houses covered with blue slate, as the towns on the Loire generally are ; but the castle chiefly invited us, the thickness of whose towers from the river to the top, was admirable. We entered by the draw-bridge, which has an invention to let one fall, if not premonished. It is full of halls and spacious chambers, and one stair-case is large enough, and sufficiently commodious, to receive a coach, and land it on the very tower, as they told us had been done. There is some artillery in it ; but that which is most observable is in the ancient chapel, viz. a stag’s head, or branches, hung up by chains, consisting of twenty brow-antlers, the beam bigger than a man’s middle, and of an incredible length. Indeed, it is monstrous, and yet I cannot conceive how it should be artificial : they show also the ribs and vertebrae of the same beast ; but these might be made of whalebone.

(The diary of John Evelyn, Ed. William Bray, J.M. DENT et E.P DULTON, London-New York, 1905, Tome I, p.71-72.)