The royal castle of Blois presents a unique outlook on the history of French architecture from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. Around the central courtyard, there are four wings of four different eras: medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Classic. It was home to several kings including Louis XII, Francois I, Henry III and Henry IV. Joan of Arc came here in 1429 to be blessed before setting off to drive the English from Orleans. The history here is immense.
Blois Son et lumiere
From April to September, a very special son et lumière show takes place in the grand courtyard of the Chateau of Blois.
Listen to the music and tales of the castle’s history via audio (in several languages). I’ts a fabulous extravaganza that lasts for 45 minutes. Take a blanket to sit on or stand, as you’ll need to swivel as the show is projected on all four walls and the spectacular spiral staircase on the Renaissance wing. Magical, mesmerising and memorable – this is a must see.
Book your tickets at the Tourist Office or the Chateau (websites below).
Visit the Chateau de Blois
During the day time, the chateau is open to visitors. It’s a truly historic, fabulous castle that simply oozes with antiquity. Architecture spanning five centuries ensure the markers of antiquity are plain to see.
The town of Blois
The town of Blois is perfect for wandering. There are plenty of restaurants, try La Creusille at the side of the river. It has wonderful views over the ancient monuments of Blois. From spring to autumn I recommend booking a table outside, the delicious seasonal dishes are served in an ancient courtyard.
You may not be able to stay in the chateau of Blois but close by is the pretty-as-a-picture 19th century Chateau Tertres. You’re guaranteed to feel like royalty here in the lovely spacious rooms, mooching around the landscaped park that surrounds it, or stroking the attention seeking friendly cat that lives there!
Chateau de Blois website; Blois tourist office; www.valdeloire-france.co.uk
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