Francois I, King of France, decided to move his capital from Paris to Romorantin about forty miles away from Amboise.
He planned to raze the old town, replace it with a grand city and make Romorantin the capital of France in honour of his mother, Louise of Savoy.
Mother and son were devoted to each other. Whenever he was away from Château Amboise, she stayed in her favourite château in Romorantin.
There was only one man in France who could design his new city.
Leonardo embraced the project with gusto. It meant he could showcase his talents as an architect and engineer.
His ideal city included a series of connected canals, which would be used for commercial purposes and as a sewage system. The lower canals for tradesmen, the upper for the gentry. Leonardo must sometimes have felt homesick because he planned to create one canal linking the rivers Loire and the Saône so that he could travel to Tuscany, where he was born.
Like so many of his brilliant ideas it never saw the light of day. A serious outbreak of malaria meant France’s new capital city could not be finished.
What did survive in Romorantin were some of the 80,000 vines which were planted around the Chateau. The old French grape variety is on the brink of extinction. Plantings which are only seen in central Loire are decreasing every year. Today Cour Cheverny is the only appellation in the world using the Romorantin grape.
Cour-Cheverny AOC has the exclusivity of the rare and unique grape variety.
Post by Pamela