France: Chateau de Blois

Essay by DaimosHigh School, 10th grade June 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.2

The Château de Blois is located in the Loir-et-Cher department in the Loire Valley in France; Château de Blois was started during the 13th century and was finished around the 17th century by the Blois family. The Château de Blois was formerly a medieval castle with but it was later changed to become a royal residence and then the political capital of the kingdom under King Louis XII.

Four stages of history converge at Blois: Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Classical Styles. Under King Louis XII Gothic style flourished, the equestrian statue of the king which crowns the main entrance to the castle is an example. However François I after his victory in Marignan in 1515, had the north wing renovated in the purist French Renaissance style. The castle was adorned with the loggia facade and the beautiful spiral staircase designed by Dominique de Cortone which is noted as an architectural masterpiece.

However after Queen Claude's death the works were stopped. Gaston d'Orléans brother of Louis XII also settled in Blois and started construction works under the supervision of François Mansard: between 1635 and 1638, a new wing was built in the classical style.

Since its creation Chateau de Blois has had its share of famous people, for example Joan of Arc the national heroine of France and a Saint of the Catholic Church, At just 17 who once commanded the French Royal army. She made Blois her base of operations for the relief of Orleans. Blois was also the place in which King Louis the XII was born in. Chateau de Blois was once capital of the kingdom during the years 1498 when Louis XII and his court lived there. However those facts did not protect Blois during the French Revolution when revolutionaries, determined to wipe out any symbol...