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Blois in the Loire Valley

 

 

The city of Blois in the Loire Valley , we think, is well worth a visit even if it is a bit further away from the house. Whether or not it would be among your top places to visit will depend on your own interests.

 Its history has been shaped by the presence of royalty - it was home to the French court for 100 years between 1498 and 1598 before they moved back to Paris. The unique skyline of Blois, viewed from the river is testament to their influence.

Its medieval streets especially in its 'old town' make for interesting walks through time itself. The city is home to one of the most famous brands of French chocolate 'Poulain' - it was here that Auguste Poulain opened his first chocolate factory 1848. Not surprisingly it not hard to find many fine examples within the shops in Blois.

 

The chateau at Blois  is a good example of the evolution of French architecture as it is made up of sections that have survived from medieval times right up to the 17th century. Its royal history dates from Louis XII  to Francois I , who added the most prominent part of the chateau, the renaissance wing with the unique open circular staircase. 

One of the city's attractions is the cavernous Maison de la Magie, (House of Magic) which sits beside the chateau esplanade, offers a variety of optical illusions. There are afternoon magic shows in mime, so you do not need to be fluent in French! Even if you don't go to the show ,it is worth waiting outside until the mechanical dragons appear at the windows.
 

 

 

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