The Royal Château of Blois gives visitors a comprehensive overview of French history, telling the story not only of royal power, but also of art and architecture. The edifice, with its different-styled facades, valuable art, furniture collections and particularly impressive scenography, makes Blois a unique monument located at the start of the line of Loire châteaux.
Once home to 7 kings and 10 queens of France, the Royal Château of Blois was a hub of monarchic power. Each of the buildings has its own history and all have a different architectural style according to the different periods. From the royal apartments to the Musée des Beaux-arts, the Château of Blois plunges visitors into centuries of art and history.

Originally a medieval fortress belonging to the Counts of Blois, the Royal Château of Blois became a major site in French history in the 15th century when Charles of Orléans set his heart on the château at the end of 25 years of imprisonment in England. The aesthete, also known as the Prince-Poet, began major building work here leaving only the Seigneurs room, known as the Estates General room, and the Le Foix tower untouched from the Medieval period.

His son Louis XII was born in the château, and when he became King of France in 1498 he made Blois the capital of the kingdom. He commissioned work on the Louis XII wing which testifies of the transition between the end of the Gothic style and a new style inspired by Italian influences. The apartments he lived in with Anne of Brittany are now home to the city’s Musée des Beaux-Arts.

The château underwent further modifications with the ascension of King Francis I, who had the residential section built by an Italian architect who imposed the French Early Renaissance style. The design of the facade of the residential suites was greatly inspired by that of the Vatican and the ornamentation on the courtyard side features all the Italian architectural vocabulary. The spiral staircase is without doubt the most audacious achievement. 

For a period of more than a century the château was the scene of royal intrigue, of which the most notable affair was the assassination in the château itself of the Duke of Guise, upon the command of King Henry III! The château also played host to a rather improbable event with the flight of Marie de’ Medici, who had been exiled here by her son, King Louis XIII. Not long after, the King gave the County of Blois to his brother, Gaston of Orléans, who moved in and began new works orchestrated by François Mansart. He started a project for a new wing designed in the 17th-century Classical style, but the work was never completed due to a lack of funds.

The château was somewhat forgotten when Gaston of Orléans died, and it wasn’t until the 19th century that it was listed as a Historic Monument thanks to Prosper Mérimée, who entrusted its restoration to the architect Félix Duban. A tour of the royal apartments and its scenography reveals different aspects of daily life during the Renaissance period. The incredible collection of art, furniture and period items is showcased by the interior decor which has undergone, and in some cases is still undergoing, meticulous restoration work. The château continues to enhance the visitor experience. The Estates General room is now an interpretation space in which 6 large screens present the evolution of the château’s architecture over the centuries through interactive 3D models, while the former kitchens now house interpretation and architecture rooms. One of the most magical attractions in Blois is the Sound & Light show which, in summer, transforms the facade into a giant screen on which the most famous events in the château’s history are played out.  
Not to be missed

A collection of different styles

Kings and queens are great builders, and the French monarchy bestowed upon the Royal Château of Blois the legacy of a compendium of styles ranging from the Medieval period up to the 17th century. Gothic, Renaissance, Classical… Different architectural styles are brought together in an impressive ensemble.
Read more
Hidden treasure

The half-in, half-out staircase

The Francis I wing is a fine example of Renaissance design. The most audacious achievement is a stunning staircase overlooking the courtyard.
Read more

The greatest figures of the château

Seven kings and ten queens lived in the Château of Blois, which was a pleasant home for them situated in a highly strategic location.
Read more
News from the château
Practical information


Royal Château of Blois
Place du Château
41000, BLOIS
Ouvert en ce moment
+ opening times
+ prices
From € 14 /  person
"Accueil Vélo"Qualité TourismeLa Loire à VéloDémarche d'excellence grands sites
Things to see in the area
How to get there
Blois-Chambord train station is 10 minutes on foot from the château and 1 hour 30 minutes by train from Paris-Austerlitz. A bus line also stops at the château. Tours airport is 60km away, with connections to London, Dublin, Porto and Marseille. The A10 motorway on the Paris-Bordeaux axis provides access to Blois. Allow 2 hours by car from Paris and 4 hours from Bordeaux. The A71 and A85 motorways also lead to the château. 

Your journey