VISIT BLOIS, LOIRE VALLEY
WE TAKE YOU TO BLOIS & AROUND
Our tailor-made luxury holidays in the Loire Valley take you to the city of Blois, where as we used to say, all the streets lead to the castle. Overlooking the Loire river, the Royal Castle of Blois was a medieval fortresse which entered the French Renaissance when Louis XII succeeded Charles VII. At that time, the defensive character of fortresses was abandoned for more refinements. Growing up in Blois, the Royal Castle of Blois became his main residence and will remain the preferred residence of the Kings of France for more than a century.
Louis XII undertakes the reconstruction of the castle and surrounds himself with the best Italian artists whose influence will be felt especially in the ornamentation.
The Louis XII wing, which bears his name, is the perfect demonstration of the transition between the Gothic style and the Renaissance. Louis XII imposes himself even in architecture and asserts his sovereignty in particular with this equestrian statue representing him, which you will notice above the main door.
Stroll in the gardens of the Royal Castle of Blois which extend all around the castle, with large terraces to enjoy nature, because this is where the revolution of this brand new royal residence shines through. During the Renaissance, these gardens now favor aesthetics and for the first time, the gardens and the castle are designed as an architectural ensemble in their own right, one of the characteristics of Renaissance gardens.
The horticulturalist Pacello Da Mercoliano, who came from Italy to serve the King, gave free rein to his creativity through the terraces, colors and smells that allow walkers to participate in the game of nature. The garden becomes a place of life and breaks with the medieval enclosed and strictly nurturing garden, like those in Villandry today. With Louis XII and his wife Anne de Bretagne, the garden becomes part of architectural work.
On the death of Louis XII in 1515, his successor François 1er, seduced by this property of gigantic dimensions, offered the Loire Valley its fascination for Italian art and made Blois a place of celebration. With him, Italian art enters Blois through the front door. The new François 1er wing, which he had built in shiny white ashlar instead of brick, gives a more luxurious character to the castle. Used for the first time for a royal castle, white tuffaut stone will become the very identity of the Loire Valley.
Enter the Loge Wing, a gallery lined with loggias, directly inspired by Italian architecture, a real upheaval in the history of French architecture, particularly spectacular at nightfall.
Admire its central element, the octagonal spiral staircase, a true architectural masterpiece, covered with fine sculptures, Italian ornaments and royal emblems in a flowery style specific to the Loire Valley castles, which Balzac describes as “jumbled like Chinese ivory ”.
With this famous spiral staircase of the castle of Blois, power takes place and takes on a theatrical, spectacular aspect. Italian fashion triumphs, the court roars with luxury and voluptuousness and the castle shines in a whirlwind of receptions, each more spectacular than the last. But what makes François 1er proud are the gardens he decorates for now legendary fetes, symbol of the art of living, the art of hosting in the castle, of entertaining the court, of enhancing it.
Visit the Louis XII gallery which houses the Museum of Fine Arts, where masterpieces by Ingres, Rubens and Boucher are on display.
Enter this magnificent setting, a concentrate of the different styles of architecture that can be found in the Loire Valley and remember that the royal castle of Blois was the home of 7 kings and 10 queens of France.
It was Louis XIII’s brother, Gaston d’Orléans, who had the wing built in the 17th century in a classical style which would complete the construction of the castle.
François 1er, who made a real spectacle of his power at the Château de Blois, will take a new step in the representation of his authority by building the most mysterious castle in French architecture, the Château de Chambord.
EXAMPLE ITINERARIES FEATURING BLOIS
We have no fixed itinerary, because at In-Luxe Travel France, true luxury follows no one else but you and combines rarity, knowledge, know-how, intuition. Take these itineraries as simply suggestions for the kind of holiday you might have in the Loire Valley.
Our luxury wine tours make you discover the best wines from the Loire Valley through appellations such as Pouilly, Vouvray, Chinon, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil… In the most exclusive Loire Valley wineries, you meet families of winemakers from father to son, mother to daughter, learn about their wine making process step by step, taste their variety of whites, rosés and reds.
France is teeming with listed sites which are true treasures of its heritage. In the Val de Loire, the châteaux, former residences of the Kings of France, immortalise the nobility, extravagance and…
MUST SEE & DO
What you shouldn’t miss to see and do while visiting Blois
EXPERIENCE Blois Castle AT NIGHT FALL
Step inside the royal Château de Blois, the only one to have hosted seven kings of France. At night fall, the Château de Blois becomes the scene of a light and sound show featuring all the most colourful episodes in the history of the city.
BIKE TO CHEVERNY
Nothing is more exceptional than a bike ride in the “Land of castles”. Between Blois and Cheverny, no less than 18 castles are nestled in the heart of the vineyards or imposing forests like Beauregard.
SAVOR ROYAL GASTRONOMY
Indulge in a gastronomic experience by Chef Christophe Hay in a centuries-old stone building right on the banks of the Loire. His cuisine highlights the best ingredients from the Loire Valley from fishes to vegetables from his own kitchen garden.
OTHER DESTINATIONS YOU MAY LIKE
With our historian retracing history of the Allied assault, you’ll receive an expert insight on the day of June 6, 1944. Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword Beach… your private guide will deepen your knowledge around this important historical event.
Our luxury holidays in Normandy take you to the heart of its history through its architecture, monuments, places steeped and will also make you discover the Normandy of today, the culture and the know-how of those who live there.
Brittany is not lacking in fascinating culture and bewitching beauty. We have traveled up and down the Côtes-d’Armor to organize a trip that will allow you to get your fill of the great outdoors…