The Chateau Royal de Blois is a veritable French architectural
pearl. The Royal Residence in Blois was the home to French Kings and Queens
for more than four centuries. While the France-England war (Hundred Years
War) raged in the real, an event took place that determined the future
of the county of Blois, the ancient fortress became a royal castle. At
the end of the 14th century, the county of Blois was sold to
the son of the king of France Charles V., to Prince Louis of Orleans.
Louis of Orleans lived in the castle for 25 years. His grandson, Louis
XII. became king of France in 1498 and decided to move to Blois. Blois
became a royal town and the capital of the Kingdom. Under Louis XII.
and Francis I. the town of Blois grew considerably. Louis XII rebuilt his
castle, blending the late Gothic style with Italian art. Francis I. built
a new wing with its famous staircase tower and loggia frontage. Catherine
de Medici and her son Henri III. often resided here during the second half
of the 16th century. Gaston d'Orleans, exiled in Blois, gave
the castle its classical wing.