In the French department of Loir-et-Cher, on the banks of the Loire River, one of the most outstanding castles in terms of its architectural complexity is located. The castle, which is named after the city where it is located: Blois. Styles that range from the French Merovingian period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Classicism and Romanticism, mix, cohabitate and tangle in a beautiful design that was born in the early 1500s. Throughout its history, seven kings and eleven queens have resided at the castle, between 1500 and 1715. As a sign of your passage through Blois, on the facade of the building you can see the heraldic animals of some of them: the “salamander” of Francis I, the “pig” of Louis XII. The structure of Blois consists of a block of four castles in one, the product of four phases of its construction: the Louis XII wing, the Francis I wing and the Gaston d’Orleans wing were added to the Old Castle of the Counts of Blois. Wing of Louis XII. Looking at its facade, you can imagine what the royal castle was like at its beginning. In Italian Renaissance style, it retains the medieval decorations shown throughout the facade. Outside, above the front door, an equestrian performance of Louis XII appears. Wing of Francis I. Unlike his predecessor, Louis XII, this king reigned little, although the work he did was significant. The facade facing the courtyard has medieval features, and its style is early Renaissance. The sumptuous exterior staircase highlights the splendor of Renaissance architecture. Wing of Gaston d’Orleans. Despite being built to his wishes, Gaston died unable to live in his unfinished palace. The most important element is his facade, because his genius lies in the fact that he foresaw classicism long before his era. Within each of the wings into which this great castle is divided, one can visit many rooms displaying objects collected throughout the history of Blois. Furniture, artwork, sculptures or personal items are available to the public to show the life and customs of the kings who resided in such a luxurious palace. On the other hand, the castle contains a wide variety of works of art exhibited in different galleries: a gallery of tapestries and sculptures, a portrait room and a wrought iron hall. Foix tower, is a remnant of a medieval building, probably it was a corner tower on the wall. An astronomical observatory was installed on this tower at the request of Gaston of Orleans. On the driveway is a fountain that belonged to the gardens of Louis XII.
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