"At the heart of history, Les Minimes Manor

The Manoir les Minimes owes its name to the Order of the Minimes, which was responsible for the creation of the Amboise convent at the end of the 15th century under the impetus of King Charles VIII, son of Louis XI.

Francis of Paola then called his convent "the convent of All Saints", a name that remained. Two chapels were added at the same time, one dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and the other to Saint Francis of Paola.

After the revolution, the cult of the holy man ran out of steam and the convent was put up for sale. The convent buildings were used as stores and the church was destroyed.

There is almost nothing left of the convent built by François de Paule except for the former dormitory, now called "Le Manoir Les Minimes".
This dormitory, which is oriented north-south, was, together with the second building along the river, modified many times as a convent building between 1493 and the present day.
On the first level of the dormitory were the refectory and the kitchen, on the second level the dormitory composed of 3 rooms, one of which had a fireplace and a closet to the west, and 4 rooms with a corridor to the east.
rooms with a corridor to the east and finally on the 3rd level the attic.

Today,the building has been rehabilitated into a 5 star hotel. One of the rooms near the site of the church has a 0.60 m thick wall in its south-western corner
reminiscent of those of the Middle Ages. It could be the oratory because it gives access by a narrow passage to a small room and this function is found in the convent of Jesus-Maria du Plessis where the oratory is placed in the dormitory building.

You can thus discover that staying at the hotel "Le Manoir Les Minimes" in Amboise is also entering history through the main door and taking a beautiful journey through time in a beautiful French residence.

Sources: "Saint François de Paule à Amboise" by Mgr FIOT and "Les Couvents de l'Ordre des Minimes en Touraine" by Aline Belmonte Pena (dissertation for François Rabelais University)

Once upon a time...

In 1483, at the personal request of Louis XI, Pope Sixtus IV ordered Brother Francis of Alessio, called St. Francis of Paola, founder of theOrder of the Minims ("the very little ones"), to leave his native Calabria to join the king in France , who was living in Plessis-lès-Tours.

On the way to Plessis, he met the Dauphin who was living with his mother Charlotte of Savoy in the castle of Amboise. The meeting takes place below the castle's terraces, where the convent will be built. The meeting is immortalized in a painting in the church of Saint-Denis in Amboise.

Nicolas Gosse Louis XI at the feet of Saint-Francois-de-Paule

Once at the Plessis, François de Paule settled in a rustic house near the castle of Louis XI. When the king died, the hermit thought of returning to Calabria, but the Dauphin , now Charles VIII, became attached to the holy man and decided in 1487 to found a convent in Amboise to house Francis and his brothers. He chose to build it on the site where he had first met Francis of Paola at the foot of the castle terraces.

The land granted to the monks, located between the Loire to the north and the hillside overlooking the castle to the south, is bisected lengthwise by the small road to Chargé, which it is impossible to remove. This is the former "rue des Minimes" which became rue de la Loi in 1793 , then rue de la Concorde in 1898, the name it still bears today. The convent is installed in the north on an advantageous site, in the part that borders the river.

In 1493, after six years of waiting and a lot of work, the hermits finally took possession of the place even if the convent was not finished.
Later, the church built along the road to Chargé was dedicated to the names of Jesus and Mary. It is called the church of the Virgin Mary and of all the Saints.

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Amboise Castle by Rigaud

Plan of the Château d'Amboise in the 16th century

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