The Castle of Blois is the largest in size among the castles of the Loire, the residence of the French kings Louis XII and Francis I. It is located in the center of the city of Blois, the Loire-et-Cher department, on the right bank of the Loire. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle of Blois was first mentioned in the 9th century. Perhaps this particular castle was fortified and rebuilt by Tybalt the Crafty, Count of Blois, owner of Tours and Chartres. Froissart , a 14th-century chronicler, noted that Blois was one of the best places in the entire kingdom. The main part of the existing castle palace was built in the 15th century by the Dukes of Orléans . When one of them ascended the French throne under the name of Louis XII (1498), he remained to live in Blois. It was he who ordered the construction of the Renaissance wing of Louis XII in 1498. It was he who recalled the master masons from Amboise - Simon Guichard, Jacques Sourdeau, Cohen Biard - under whose leadership the construction was carried out. His daughter Claude was also attached to the Blois residence and insisted that her husband, Francis I , provide funds for the renovation of the late Gothic palace in the spirit of the Italian Renaissance . After the death of the queen, Claude Francis I chose Amboise and the Renaissance wing of the Château de Blois remained unfinished.
The end of the 16th century was marked by bloody events in Blois. When the Amboise conspiracy was exposed, the Dukes of Giza took the king to Amboise, which was more suitable in case of a siege. The next king, Henry III, lured his enemy, Henry of Guise and his cardinal brother , into the palace , where they were both killed by royal bodyguards , and two weeks later Catherine de Medici died here (tourists are shown her hiding place for poisons).
Under the Bourbons, the residence in Blois lost its political significance. Louis XIII removed his mother, Marie de' Medici, there from the capital . Later, the palace was owned by his brother, Gaston d'Orléans , who commissioned François Mansart to add palaces to the palace in the then new Baroque style . This work was not completed due to lack of funds after a son was born to Louis XIII in 1638 and Gaston ceased to be heir to the throne. At the beginning of the 18th century, the palace was placed at the disposal of the Dowager Polish Queen Marysenka . Louis XVI intended to sell Blois, but did not find a buyer. In the 19th century , Louis Philippe restored, refurnished and colorfully decorated the royal chambers that had been destroyed during the years of the revolution. The abandoned castle, where a garrison had previously been stationed, was restored to house the city's museum of fine arts.
The Castle of Blois is one of the attractions of the Loire Valley and was captured in a series of photo postcards at the beginning of the 20th century  . A small series of sleeve chevrons with the symbols of the castle was also released.
SOUND & LIGHT SHOW.
Season 2024: 30 and 31 March and from 6 April to 22 September + All Saint's holidays (from 19 October to 2 November)
EVERY EVENING in the courtyard of the Chateau (except on 21 June, 13 July)
March april and September: 10:00 pm
May, June, July and August: 10:30 pm
October and November: 7:15 pm
Duration: 45 minutes
A festival of visual and aural special effects synchronized with the grandiose architecture of the court and bringing back to life the celebrated episodes in the history of the Castle.
The access is not limited. You don't have to book a specific date.
In case of bad weather conditions, the show is not cancelled.
6 Pl. du Château, 41000 Blois, France