Friday, 23 January 2009

B is for...


(château de... louis xii wing)

To continue the theme of French castles for the ABC-along 2009, RedScot Inc. brings you the Château of Blois, in glorious Technicolor. 

(Although, technically, the incredible Castle at Blois is brought to you first by the Counts of Blois (from the 10th to the 13th centuries), then by Kings Louis XII and his Queen, Anne; François I; Henri III; Henri IV; Louis XIII and finally his brother, Gaston d'Orléans.   As country retreats go, it's not too shabby at all...)

The building itself can be divided into four main sections, the first being the Louis XII wing, the exterior of which is shown above.  Now, as you can probably imagine, I have many, MANY photos of this place.  The formation and stone-work especially has me drooling in architectronical* delight!

Above the main entrance-way you find an equestrian statue of Louis XII in full battle armour.  The original was sadly destroyed in the Revolution, but there's the magnificent copy from 1857 to gaze at in its place.

louis xii in ceremonial armour

So, by the time you get to this portal, you're already a tad impressed, but nothing quite prepares you for the courtyard...

unfinished classical wing of gaston d'orléans with françois i wing to the right

You enter through the Louis XII wing into a bright and very spacious courtyard to be confronted with several architectural styles: facing you is the latest (and unfinished) wing, built in the Classical style by Gaston d'Orléans. To the right is the Renaissance wing of Francois I, where a jewel of a polygonal spiral staircase adorns the façade.  It is truly, truly stunning!

i'll take two to go, please

The detail is incredible:

 maybe slightly on the draughty side, though...

:: droooooool ::

The wing on the other side of the courtyard houses the chapel, which although not particularly stunning from the outside, is beautiful inside...

bien sûr - stained-glass had to figure somewhere in this post!

I don't have so very many shots of the interior.  Well, no, to be truthful, I have lots of photos of the interior, but not of the particularly clear and focussed variety.  I do have a semi-decent one of François I's little crib, though...
restful, calm and muted colours - perfect for a good night's sleep

Once you think you've seen everything, you follow the direction for the exit, wander down a little staircase and go through a doorway, to be presented with a final wonder - the Hall of the Estates General - a massive salle with an incredible ceiling:
6,720 hand-painted gold fleur-de-lis

I don't think enough good things can be said about the restorers of the 19th and 20th centuries.  The French Revolution and then bombings in WWII led to much being damaged or destroyed, but thanks to the incredible work of these restorers, the Château of Blois is again a stunning thing to behold.  And photograph!

*architechtronical - pertaining to anything related to architecture that that can reduce the beholder to embarrassingly public shows of emotion.  (The RedScot Dictionary of Made-Up Words OUP 2018)


Anonymous Friday, 23 January 2009 at 17:20:00 GMT  

Gorgeous photos once again!

Anonymous Friday, 23 January 2009 at 18:48:00 GMT  


Diane Sunday, 25 January 2009 at 22:27:00 GMT  

Stunning architechtronical display....our modern buildings just don't take my breath away like these centuries-old ones do.

Mair Bloag Weejits

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