The favourite residence of the Kings of France, the Royal Château of Blois
associates four different periods of French architecture. The salamander and the porcupine, the emblems of Francois I and Louis XII respectively, adorn the walls. It is a remarkable feeling to enter the chamber of Henri III where the Duc de Guise was assassinated! And then there are the 200 sculpted wooden panels in the private cabinet of Catherine de Medici, behind which the sovereign would hide her poisons, jewels and secret documents.
In the middle of the François I wing, the wide openings of the spiral staircase, a jewel of the Renaissance period, look out onto the courtyard of the castle. In this grandiose setting, the night-time spectacle Ainsi Blois Vous est Conté
takes you back to experience the drama, love and mysteries that have shaped the history of France.
Opposite the Château, the Maison de la Magie
retraces the fantastic story of illusionist Robert-Houdin! The hallucinoscope, passage of the mysteries, tricks and shows... Perhaps you will succeed in elucidating some of the magician's secrets?
With its welcoming squares, stairways and little streets descending to the Loire, Blois
is a Town of Art and History with more than one trick up its sleeve.The P'tits clous circuits
take you in Tom Thumb's footsteps through the historic districts of the town, while carriage rides provide a leisurely way to discover the town.
For an unusual view, head for the port of La Creusille and board a traditional boat to enjoy a superb panoramic view of the town.
After a break in town, off to the Château of Chaumont-sur-Loire
, its grounds and the famous International Garden Festival
with its renowned motto Come and pinch our ideas!
From April to October every year, take a walk through playful, colourful, poetic or even slightly crazy gardens where artists and landscape gardeners from all over the world give their imagination a free rein on a given theme.
For 2009, the emphasis is on "gardens of colour" and the infinite variation of shades that are to be found in them.