Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chateau de Blois

Chateau de Blois, located in Blois, is famous for being the residence of several French kings (Louis XII, Francois I, Henry IV, Henry V) as well as the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans.

It has 3 distinct buildings:

1. The Louis XII castle purchased in 1391.
2. The Francois I wing in the 16th Century
3. The Gaston d'Orléans wing, never completed, in the 17th Century

Adjacent to, but below the Chateau, is the Church of St Nicolas, a 12th century structure on the grounds of a former Benedictine Abbey.

Back of the Gaston d'Orleans wing (large building on the left half of the image), with the Church of St Nicolas immediately to the right and the St Louis Cathedral to the far right taken from the south side of the Loire River.

Closer picture of the back of the Gaston d'Orleans wing with the Church of St Nicolas on the right taken from the south side of the Loire River.

The facade and front courtyard of the original castle purchased by Louis XII in 1391 facing east.

The inner courtyard with the Francois Wing to the right and the unfinished Gaston d'Orleans wing to the left.

Perhaps the most famous feature in the entire chateau is the spiral staircase.

The Francois wing has the most history and drama, being the residence of Francois I, Henry III, and Henry IV. It was in this building that the Duke of Guise was assassinated. Henry IV's wife, Marie de Medici, who was responsible for the construction of Luxembourg Palace and Gardens in Paris, died here.

This is the back of the Francois wing looking east over the city of Blois with the top of the St Louis Cathedral in the distance.

King's bedroom in Francois Wing with Henry IV initial in the floor tiles

Queen's bedroom in Francois Wing (yes, that's Amanda)

Gallery in Francois Wing

King Henry and Catherine's logo (H superimposed with overlapping C and reverse C)

Looking east over the city to the St Louis Cathedral

Looking south to the Church of St Nicolas and the Loire River

For more images, see this gallery of 261 high resolution pictures taken in April, 2009. (not mine)

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