Beautiful Blois:Royal City with a Magical Twist

Blois is a city of exquisite beauty with a rich royal history which is palpable even today in the Chateau Royal. I’ve visited a couple of Chateau in the Loire valley but this one really touched me. From the first moment you enter the Chateau you know you are entering into a special part of French history with the engraving of King Louis X11 on his steed looking down from above. 

Jeanne D’Arc ledt her mark here when received the blessing of her troops by the archbishop of Rheims before setting off to fight the English

This chateau which spans many years of French history is encapsulated in the four different sections reflecting the Gothic, Renaissance, Flamboyant and Classical types of architecture. Successive French kings and Queens have  left their mark and styles on the Chateau

François  the first fostered a blossoming of the Renaissance arts and invited Leonardo Da Vinci to stay and become inspired by the beautiful landscapes surrounding the Chateau

But the Chateau also reflects a darker period in French history, the religious wars , a time of great violence and conflict centered on Henri the third and the Guise lineage


 But it was the symbolism expressed  in the sumptuous interiors which really grabbed me: The salamander was the chosen emblem of François the first. This mythical-and somewhat mystical creature is a being of the fire element; dynamic, creative and capable of great transformation while maintaining a calm centre. No wonder I was besotted by this Symbol! 


I visited an altogether different place of magic and mystery at a house which celebrates the incredible life of Robert Houdin,  the extraordinary presdidigatator who inspired the American Houdini to follow in his footsteps.  


At the end of my day in the magnificent city, I visited another spot which expressed its complex and luxurious (Fastueux en Français) history

The Museum of the Resistance revealed how the citizens of Blois entered the fire of the second world war. The river Cher  which runs through the city, was the dividing line between Vichy and occupied France .


 With such a proud history to fight for they took up arms and at every opportunity, no matter how young or old, men and women, to passionately resist the Nazi brutes.I was deeply  touched by this painful part of the history of Blois yet it also affirms the passionate and courageous  spirit of the citizens of  this majestic city

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