What’s Up In and Around the Royal City of Blois

In September 1519, the first stone was laid for what would become, under the impetus of François I and his protégé, Leonardo da Vinci, the most astonishing construction of the French Renaissance: the Château de Chambord. This year Domaine is paying tribute to its remarkable château with a double-barrelled exhibition, the largest to date, linking the past with the future.

Domaine de Chambord: Mega-Exhibition ‘Chambord 1519-2019: From Dream to Reality’. May 26 to Sept. 1.
The show features nearly 150 works - manuscripts, rare books, drawings, paintings - from 33 prestigious institutions, including the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Louvre, the British Museum and the Florence Library, retracing the genesis of the château. This retrospective is complemented by a display of 18 projects from high-tech architecture labs of major universities worldwide, who were given free rein to design their vision of the ideal Chambord of the 21st century.
500 Horses and Riders at the Château de Chambord, June 29 and 30.
Chambord will also be celebrating its proud equestrian tradition for its 500th anniversary with a show featuring 500 horses and riders from the renowned Cadre Noir de Saumur and the prestigious Garde Républicaine, all splendidly attired in period costumes. On Sundays, visitors will be able to take a leisurely trot on horseback along special trails earmarked for the occasion.
The Royal Château de Blois: A Spellbinding Sound and Light Show. Every evening at dusk, from April 6 to Sept. 22.
The Royal Château de Blois will be celebrating the Renaissance with a show to end all shows. Come at nightfall and you’ll be treated to a riveting and strikingly realistic audio-visual super-production that makes the château come to life before your very eyes. Using 3D modelling, video mapping, spatialized voices and sound effects, the unique 360° show replicates flickering candle flames, glowing ashes, gold embossed facades, spectacular stained glass windows, the sound of dripping rain. Immerse yourself in this firework of special effects and you’ll see the château in a whole new light.
The Royal Château de Blois: ‘Children of the Renaissance’, a First-of-its-Kind Exhibition. May 18 to Sept. 1.
This unique new show presents, for the first time ever, the customs and habits of childhood from the late 15th to the early 17th century. And the chateau, as cradle of many crowned heads, childhood home, nursery and family residence for numerous royals, has certainly seen its share of youngsters grow up. Ever wonder what infants were fed 500 years ago? How the queen gave birth? What good manners implied? Well, you’re in for lots of surprises!
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire: Contemporary Art Show by Chinese-born French Artist, Gao Xingjian. Mar. 27 to Nov. 3.
The ‘Call for a New Renaissance’ at the Château de Chaumont presents the delicate, sensitive ink creations by Chinese-born French artist Gao Xingjian. With his prolific, multifaceted career as writer, painter, stage director and poet, and winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature, Gao himself is a true man of the Renaissance, who finds every form of art worth exploring.
The International Garden Festival, Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire. April 25 to Nov. 3.
Since its inauguration in 1992, the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire has been the uncontested global leader in gardens and landscape design and an on-going source of novel ideas and innovative approaches.This year, the Festival will focus on the theme ‘Gardens of Paradise’, a subject dear to the Renaissance. Gardens, whose restful fountains and scent of flowers, welcoming shade and fresh evening breezes, conjure up images of innocence and infinite happiness. Participants will be offering a contemporary take on this paradise, a place where people can enjoy total peace and serenity and where human beings work together, using new materials, plants and approaches to foster a better world. 
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