The preceptories (1) of Amboise

Contribution : Jean-Luc Chopin
Translation : Andrew Zolnai

The Chapel of the preceptory of the Order of Saint John
Diaporama at the bottom of the page
France, département d'Indre-et-Loire

France, department of Indre-et-Loire, around 30 km east of Tours, city of Amboise.

We don't know the date of the creation of the preceptory of the Templars, but the first text(2) known to mention the existence of a Templar House in Amboise is dated from 1219. In this text, it is named "domus militioe Templi de Ambasia."
The preceptory was located in the parish of "Saint-Denis-Hors". Templars owned also a mill in this parish.

The location occupied by the preceptory is referred by several names : Hamlet of the Preceptory, Templar street, Preceptory street. There are no remnants of the buildings, except a vaulted cellar.

We don't know either the exact date of the creation of the Preceptory of St John. The first text mentioning its existence is dated from 1307. In the text, the preceptory is named "Maison de l'Hopitau d'Amboise".

Later and because of its location on an island in the Loire river, it will be named preceptory of Saint Jean de l'Ile (Saint John of the Island)

After the abolition of the Templar Order in 1312, the templar preceptory of Saint Denis was transferred to the Order of St-John, but it's only in 1450 that it will be reunited to the one of Saint-Jean-de-l'Ile.

After the French Revolution, the buildings of both preceptories were sold as national goods.
The only building of the St John preceptory still visible is the chapel, located in the middle of the island.

This chapel, reconstructed around 1742, is build in one block, with regular stones, and measures 18m long on 7m width.

Notes :

(1)On the territory of the commune of Amboise, there were two preceptories : one of the Templars and the other of the Hospitallers.

(2)Not only the first one, but also the only text about the templar preceptory.


More references... Bibliography
  1. "Dictionnaire géographique historique et biographique d'Indre-et-Loire et de l'ancienne province de Touraine" (link on Gallica )
    Jacques Xavier Carre de Busserolle ; Mémoire de la Société archéologique de Touraine, 1878
  2. "Les Templiers et Hospitaliers en Touraine"
    Alain Jacquet ; Allan Sutton, 2002
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