The residence of no fewer than 7 kings and 10 queens of France, the Château de Blois is undoubtedly one of the most important in the country and represents the synthesis of architecture and history of the Loire châteaux.
Its court offers a true panorama of French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, a fusion of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It is evocative of power and daily life at the Renaissance court, as evidenced by the richly furnished interiors with beautiful polychrome decorations.
The stronghold of the powerful Counts of Blois and the Duke of Orleans, the favourite residence of the kings of France, after years of neglect and the risk of demolition, in 1845 it was one of the first national monuments to be restored and became a model for many other castles.
The Château de Blois represents a kind of overview of the history and evolution of Loire castles: in fact, its four façades evoke as many different periods and architectures. A great overview that retraces the fundamental stages of French architecture.
This is the oldest part of the castle, of medieval origin. All that remains today of the ancient fortress are the vestiges of the ramparts, the so-called ‘Tower of Foix’ and the Hall of the States-General.
Of great beauty and elegance, it is the oldest stately room in France. It was used by the monarchs to administer justice and receive their subjects: they heard complaints, complaints and honours. With its two naves supported by magnificent columns and richly decorated ceilings, the hall became famous on two occasions. King Henry III convened the States General of France here in 1576 and 1588 to try to stem the religious wars that were ravaging the nation under his reign.
This part of the château was completely renovated and restored under the aegis of the King of France, Louis XII: in 1498, the sovereign moved the French court to Blois and undertook considerable restoration and improvement work on the château and gardens.
The architectural style changed completely: the wing was modified according to the canons of the Flamboyant Gothic style. Its main features are its facades decorated with an alternation of stone and red brick, the rich decoration of the windows and dormer windows with the hedgehog, the symbol of the sovereign, and the large equestrian statue of the king above the main gate.
New sovereign, new style. Upon ascending the throne in 1515, King Francis I brought his own personal improvements to the castle, upgrading the north wing and gardens, entrusted to the Italian landscape architect Pacello da Mercogliano.
This time, Renaissance architecture with Italian influences was chosen: don’t miss the large spiral staircase adorned with pillars overlooking the courtyard and the massive presence of salamanders, the king’s emblem, already noted in Chambord Castle.
The loggias adorning the façade are marvellous, clearly inspired by the Roman ones, created by the architect Bramante in the Vatican.
When Queen Marie de Medici and her son Gaston d’Orléans took refuge here, new work began to rebuild the castle in 1635.
This area of the mansion is a perfect example of classical architecture, very much in vogue at the time. Note the large dome embellishing the staircase of honour, the pediment with the coats of arms of France and the rhythmic, symmetrical windows. During the same period, the sovereign also designed a fabulous botanical garden: almost 2300 different species.
Unfortunately, the death of Gaston d’Orléans in 1660 was followed by a slow but inexorable period of decline for the Château de Blois, which, together with its gardens, sank into oblivion and total abandonment. Only its assignment to the army saved it from being destroyed during the period of the French Revolution.
The château is open every day of the year, except 1 January and 25 December, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: the only exceptions are 24 and 31 December , when it is exceptionally closed at 4 p.m.
Like many châteaux in the Loire Valley, Blois has equipped itself with modern IT tools to extend and enrich the visiting experience. For an additional fee, you can equip yourself with HistoPad: a tablet with headphones through which you can take a trip back in time and fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the era.
With the interactive map with geolocation on 3 floors, the interactive 3D objects, the virtual treasure hunt, the reconstruction of the castle in 3D according to its 4 periods of construction, you will make a never-before-seen visit: you will be able to admire the settings, the customs, the life of the sovereigns and the court, discover every detail that is now invisible and has disappeared with time, interact with history and be an active protagonist of the visit.
For the little ones, on the other hand, there is Guideez, an application to download free of charge onto your tablet or smartphone. A game organised as a 12-stage discovery tour of the Château Royal de Blois: each adventure, guided by a personalised companion at the start of the visit, encourages children to scrutinise the smallest details and understand everything about the places they are exploring.
On arrival, a gift rewards those who have completed their missions. The application’s contents are designed to adapt to children’s abilities, according to their age with 3 levels of visit: 5/7 years, 7/10 years, 10/12 years.
The château offers an unusual guided tour, which allows access to corners and rooms that cannot normally be visited using traditional entrances.
Visits take place in groups of a maximum of 18 people and last approximately 2 hours. Telephone reservations must be made in advance.
Every evening from April to September, the facades of the château become blank canvases at the service of an incredible show.
During the 45-minute projection, you can follow the history of this mansion and witness twelve scenes representing the eventful life of the Château Royal de Blois: the succession of sovereigns and queens, the assassination of the Duc de Guise, loves, dramas and secrets twirl on the façades in a breathtaking spectacle in which the characters seem to reincarnate and come to life before your eyes.
Admission to the show is on payment and a simultaneous audioguide translated into 10 languages is offered. Times vary according to the season and there are no seats.
The Château de Blois is located in the Loir-et-Cher department and, together with the Château de Chambord, opens the doors to the Loire Valley. Its proximity to Paris makes Blois very convenient to visit from the French capital.
Paris is only 170 km away. To get there by car, you have to take the A10 Paris/Bordeaux motorway, exit no. 17/Blois. Alternatively, for a slower journey, you can opt for the RN 152 state road, Paris/Orléans/Blois.
From Paris-Austerlitz station, there is a connection to Tours, with a stop at Blois-Chambord station. Or, also from Paris, the TGV Paris-Vendôme train departs from Montparnasse station, 30 km from Blois.
The castle is a 7-minute walk from the station.
The Château de Blois is located in the small town of the same name in Turenne. It is worth staying in the historical centre of Blois, which is really charming and full of charm. Here, you will find many B&Bs in period buildings, exquisitely restored and equipped with every comfort. Most of the establishments are only a few minutes’ walk from the château, making it easy to visit without having to travel by car.
Alternatively, if you want the services and standards of the big chains, you can also stay in luxury hotels in the city, suitable for all needs, including wellness centre and parking facilities.
What's the weather at Blois Castle? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Blois Castle for the next few days.
The Château de Blois is located in the historic town of Blois: only 2 hours from Paris