Situated on the edge of the Loire River, Blois, a City of Art and History, forms an attractive and harmonious architectural group with its royal château, houses in the old town and religious monuments.
A former residence of French kings, the Château de Blois is a majestic building that is unusual because it features several different architectural styles - Gothic, Flamboyant Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Classical - a wonderful range of French architecture. The château's highlights include the gate topped by an equestrian statue of Louis XII, the stunning internal courtyard and the four wings from different periods and of different architectural styles, and the sumptuous spiral staircase in the Francis I wing. The fine art museum in the Louis XII wing houses a collection of tapestries, paintings and sculptures. From April to September every year, an enchanting evening light and sound show, "Ainsi Blois vous est conté...", which recounts the history of this famous building, is put on in the courtyard.
Outside its walls, Place du Château is a very pleasant place for a drink on one of the café terraces. Horse-drawn carriage tours of the old town depart from this square, at the château entrance.
In front of the castle, the Robert Houdin magic museum is dedicated to magic and illusion. Kids and adults can discover the history of magic, as well as collections of magician's tools, like those of the famous French conjurer Robert Houdin. Another museum to visit is the Objet museum, a former convent housing a collection of works by modern and contemporary artists, such as Dali, Caesar, Arman and Christo. Horse fans should go to the National stud farm and immerse themselves in the world and history of horses.
The visit of Blois continues in the picturesque narrow, sloping streets of the historic centre, which are full of charm and great to stroll around. There are also beautiful gardens to be seen towards Saint-Louis cathedral. From the vast esplanade of the town hall, there is a fantastic view of the bishop's palace gardens, the slate roofs of the old town and the royal river!