The Château Royal de Blois has been a home for the lords of Blois and the Kings of France since the 9th century. Today, the buildings arranged around the courtyard come from four major architectural periods which date from 13th to the 17th century. Each is a separate building with its own access routes leaving the visitor to sample many historical periods in one location.  You enter the chateau through the Gothic wing of Louis XII (1498-1500), once in the courtyard, the Renaissance wing of Francis I (1515-1518) is on the right and Classic wing of Gaston d’Orleans (1635-1638) in in front of you.

Chateau Royal de Blois, Loire Valley, France

The Gothic wing of Louis XII

– click image for gallery –

The following pictures are from the lavishly decorated Renaissance wing constructed by Frances I. Throughout the building you will find a number of symbols used repeatedly including the fleur-de-lis which has strong connections with the French monarchy.  Additionally, the image of a salamander, used by Frances I as his personal motif, can be found above the grand fireplace and elsewhere.  The Château de Chambord which he also constructed,  has over 300 such images.  However, it was King Henry II who left his mark through the use of a “H” motif which can be found extensively in his private quarters.

Visitor information:  There is an underground car park close to the chateau and a number of cafes outside the entrance.  There are no such facilities inside the building.