The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 16

Bringing you the best of France including captivating towns like sunny Montpellier, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the antiques capital of Provence, Gascony, Chateaux of the Loire Valley, Paris, Lyon, a long lost cheese story, mouth-watering recipes and a whole lot more.

Chateau de Blois

Chateau de Blois Not far away from Chambord you'll find the chateau de Blois. Again, it's not massively furnished though there are some wonderful and quirky pieces. But architecturally, it's absolutely stunning Buildings from the 13th to 17th centuries are before you and the markers of time are clear. When the early Counts of Blois laid the stones for their fort-like palace, Blois was not then a part of the French Kingdom. Head out the courtyard towards the river and you'll see a stone tower, the oldest part of Blois with views over the river. Walk into the big inner courtyard and you're surrounded by history. The truly outstanding stair case is what most people remember above all else. Blois was home to several kings and queens of France including Francis I. It was his first building project when he became King in 1515. He lived here with his first wife Claude who was said to be boss-eyed, stooped and overweight. The poor girl gave birth to 7 children in 7 years and died aged 25 - it certainly wasn't all fun being a queen in those days. Catherine de Medici, who was married to Francis I son, Henry II, also died here. You can feel the history in the chateau, in those thick stone walls and beamed ceilings, in the tiled floors and secret rooms with their wood panelling and paintings. One of the strangest portraits is of a hairyfaced girl, Tognina Gonsalvus, a victim of hypertrichosis ("werewolf syndrome"). She was kept at the court of Henry II as a curiosity but I like to think the painting shows there was some fondness there. Skulduggery, murder, drama and romance took place in bucket loads at this chateau – the audio guided tour explains all. From April to September, every evening as the sun sets, a Son et Lumière show takes place in the courtyard bringing the tale of the ancient castle to life – it’s terrific.

Practical information If you're arriving by train, the chateau is a 500m walk from Blois- Chambord train station.

Copied successfully!