The Chateau de Blois was a royal residence for a series of French kings including Louis XII, Francois I, Henry II, Henry III, and Henry IV among many others. The place is steeped in history and visitors can see Catherine de Medici's bedroom, the room in which the Duc de Guise was assassinated, the State Room with the royal throne, and many, many more historical and architectural wonders.
The chateau was begun in the early fifteenth century, though not much remains from this period. The main wings were built under the direction of Louis XII and Francois I. The latter is pretty exciting with fancifully painted walls and ceilings and marvelously decorative floor tiles. The building has been sumptuously restored and left an effect on me that some of the other chateaux didn't.
The chateaux is quite large and was the seat of French government during the reign of Francois I. The site is high above the city and is a veritable fortress. The central courtyard includes the fabulous Francois I spiral staircase set into an octagonal turret. Make sure that you use the staircase. Views from inside are quite wonderful.
I strongly recommend a visit here. My party and I unfortunately didn't allow enough time and missed the museum in the Louis XII wing. I suggest planning to spend slightly more than two hours in this chateau.
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