Blois

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Blois is a town in France, located in the Center-Val de Loire region, in the Loir-et-Cher department, in the heart of the Loire castles.
Blois is a town in France, located in the Center-Val de Loire region, in the Loir-et-Cher department, in the heart of the Loire castles.
Blois is a French city and the administrative center of the Loir-et-Cher prefecture in the Center-Val de Loire region.

The city was first mentioned in the 6th century by Gregory Turonis, while it became a county center in the 9th century. In 1429,  Joan of Arc  became the basis for Orleans’ liberation. After the end of his captivity in England, Charles I of Orleans made him his abode (1440) and his son and later King of France Louis II was born there in 1462.

The city had a significant number of Calvinists, and during the period 1562 – 1567 several conflicts with the Catholics broke out. From 1617 to 1619, Maria Medici, wife of King Henry II, lived in her castle when she was banished from the French court. The castle was given shortly after King Ludwig III to Gaston’s brother, Duke of Orleans, who remained there until his death in 1660.

the city and castle fortifications, listed as historic monuments.

Access : Coordinates: 47.5939, 1.3281 / Train: Blois can be reached from Paris Austerlitz station in 1h40. AM regional train station.
Car: Autoroute A10, Paris-Bordeaux, exit Blois (approx. 170 km), alternatively Route Nationale RN 152, Paris-Orleans – Blois (approx. 180 km).

Highlights :

  •  Chateau Royal de Blois – : Blois Castle is one of the Loire castles. It stands on a mountain spur on the northeastern bank of the Loire , Built in the 10th century by the Counts of Blois as a fortified tower on a rocky plateau, it was gradually expanded into a castle complex until the 13th century. The last count of Blois sold them to the ruling dynasty of the Valois at the end of the 14th century.
  •  Blois Cathedral, or the Cathedral of St. Louis of Blois : The cathedral of St. Louis is a late-Gothic Catholic cathedral in Blois, 4 France. It is the seat of the bishopric of Blois, established in 1697.Before becoming a cathedral, the building was a collegiate church dedicated to San Solenne. Construction began in the twelfth century. However, except for the footprints in the crypt and at the base of the bell tower, there is nothing left of the original structure. The construction of the current facade and bell tower began in 1544. The ship was destroyed in a storm of 1678 and reconstruction in the Gothic style occurred between 1680 and 1700 under the direction of the architect Arnoult-Seraphin Poictevin.
  •  La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin – The Robert-Houdin House of Magic : The Robert-Houdin House of Magic, is a museum specializing in illusion and conjuring located in Blois in the department of Loir-et-Cher in the Center-Val de Loire region.The museum has the label Musee de France and pays homage to Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin, a French illusionist born in Blois at the beginning of the 19th century.
  •  La Fondation du doute : The Foundation is a museum and exhibition center for contemporary art located in Blois. Project supported by artist Ben and the city of Blois, the Foundation is mainly devoted to the Fluxus movement.
  •  Chateau de Chambord : Chambord Castle is the largest castle in the Loire Valley. It is about 15 kilometers east of Blois in an extensive former hunting area. It was built in the first half of the 16th century under King Franz I as a ceremonial and hunting castle near Chambord and is considered the most magnificent of all Loire castles.
  •  Les Jardins de l’Ancien Eveche : The Bishop’s Garden is a public garden adjoining the town hall of Blois. It offers a view of the Loire Valley.At the end of the 17th century, Pope Innocent XII created a bishopric in Blois. The first appointed bishop was David Nicolas de Bertier, in 16971. The latter, not knowing where to install his seat, sought, among the churches of the city, that which could become cathedral. He turns towards the Sainte-Solenne church and the land that surrounds.
  •  Escalier Denis Papin : The Denis-Papin staircase, located in the town of Blois, is a monumental stone staircase that links the upper town to the edge of the Loire. from the top of this staircase you have a panoramic view of the bridge, the Loire Valley and the city. The perspective offered from the bridge crossing the Loire is remarkable.
  •  Place- square Louis XII : a square was created on the site of the current Place Louis-XII. Its site was previously occupied by the Abbey of Bourgmoyen which was destroyed in 1806. The architect Alexandre Pinault established in 1820 a project for a square called “place des fontaines”. His plan was to free up a little more space by destroying the houses located between the theater and rue des Orfevres, and to build a vegetable hall, a neo-classical facade for the theater and a central circular fountain, replacing the Louis-XII fountain.
  •  Tour Beauvoir – Beauvoir Tower : Built in the 11th century, the Beauvoir Tower is one of the oldest buildings in the city of Blois, in France.the Beauvoir Tower can be visited on request and has been converted into a gite on the ground floor. The floors are used as rooms for events or temporary exhibitions.
  •  Rue du Puits-Chatel : a quiet cobbled street in the mediaeval quarter of Blois / Hotels Particuliers : The Alluye Hotel is a 16th century mansion located at No 8 rue Saint-Honore, in Blois, in the French department of Loir-et-Cher. Built by Florimond Robertet when he was secretary and notary of King Louis XII, the hotel is named after his barony of Alluye.
  •  Chateau de Chaumont : Chaumont Castle is located On a steep bank high above the Loire, it forms the backdrop for the village, whose houses line the river bank in a long row.In the tenth century, Eudes I, Count de Blois, had a fortress built to protect the city of Blois from the attacks of the Counts of Anjou.
  •  Chateau de Cheverny : is a Renaissance castle with a museum, a park with orangerie and French, English and contemporary gardens, which has a pavilion and an arboretum of 100 hectares of property private, located in the commune of Cheverny, in the Center-Val de Loire region of France.The building is located inside the perimeter of Val de Loire registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  •  Chateau de Fougeres-sur-Bievre : The castle of Fougeres-sur-Bievre is located in France on the Bievre, in the very center of the village of Fougeres-sur-Bievre, in the department of Loir-et-Cher in the Center-Val de Loire region. More precisely, it is 15 km south of Blois and 10 km southwest of Cheverny.
  •  Pont de Blois – The Jacques-Gabriel bridge : The Jacques-Gabriel bridge is a bridge over the Loire located in Blois in the Loir-et-Cher, in France. This bridge was built in the 18th century by Jacques Gabriel.The Pont Jacques Gabriel is a 283 m long and 15 m wide stone arch bridge with 11 arches with different spans. The middle arch has the largest span at 26.30 m. The pillars have different thicknesses between 4.85 m and 6.82 m. The road surface has its highest point on the middle arch, which is crowned by a 14.6 m high pyramid, and slopes down to both banks with a clear slope.

Activities : Loire River Trips / walk in town with its old districts- sightseeing / photo opportunities / Explore the Loire by bike / discover the architectural riches of the The Loire Valley.

Go next : Amboise , a town in the Indre-et-Loire department of central France / Chambord , a town in Centre-Val de Loire in France. It is famous for the royal Chateau de Chambord. / Orleans , the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region of north-central France

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