The magic and architecture richness of Blois

In my pre Christmas rounds in the Loire I stop again by Blois, nice beautiful town, and my last post again was from March 2011!!! the tourist office is here, http://www.bloischambord.com/

We came here by car from Brittany going around Nantes and then direction Angers, and finally heading down to Blois. First, to our hotel just South of Blois in St Gervais-la-Fôret, this is an area we like and have passed by and eaten in nearby restaurants before.

For the trip we chose, Hotel Ikar, this is part of the French chain Inter-Hotel that I used even for my business trips in France.  Very nice typical French hôtels in and around quaint towns of lesser known but equally nice in la Belle France; the hotel is here, http://www.ikarhotel-blois.com/

Very nice welcome country ambiance, with free parking and restaurant breakfast and the rooms were adequate with a bit small bathroom and paper thin towels.  The rest was fine, and especially well located with our favorite resto nearby and free parking.

We ,arrived, and immediatly went out to have dinner by 19H (7pm) and there you go our Tavern de Maître Kanter was just across the road even if we had to walk around a traffic circle to get there with no zebra crossing nor sidewalks lol! The food was Worth it, with our choucroute royale for two, and pike perche fish (sandre) dishes as well as spare pork ribs , plenty of la divine (beer, orange juice and cherry liquor) apéro with a bottle of Vacqueyra reserve Saint Dominique 2012  red for the main meal, and desserts like banana split, and other ice creams all for 36.60€ per person splendid meal and a good start.

We then hit Blois right on, been in town before we could quickly walk to the areas we like to see without having to see the Castle nor the maison de Houdini magic house again.  Instead, we concentrated on the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul built in 1622 for the Jesuists (before call the Church of Saint Louis) . The Church was renovated and decorated by grants of Gaston d’Orléans (brother of the king), and later Anne-Marie de Montpensier (the Grande Mademoiselle),his daughter. It is very richly decorated Inside with statues, retables and sculptures.  The Church was empty out during the French revolution and given back to the cult in 1826 after rénovations.  IT became the parrish Church in 1847  and note the north South orientation of the Church with the choir in the north.

Climb the wonderful escalier Saint Martin from the castle level to the city market below and pedestrian shopping Streets, views of the castle exteriors from several angles, and the passing of Houdini museum was of course elementary. We enjoy the renovated Maison de la BD house of cartoons such as this http://www.maisondelabd.com/ ; and passing once again by the old  jacobins convent now the Muséum d’histoire naturelle  or museum of national history  more at the city here and tourist office above; http://www.blois.fr/47-museum.htm#contenu

We enjoy seeing again the wonderful architecture of the hôtels d’Epernon and of Amboise on the square entrance to castle of Blois facing it to your left.  To be there on market day and Christmas market was wonderful , to see our old restaurants hangouts of duc de Guise and le Triboulet.

We enjoy a visit again to the Church of Saint Nicolas-Saint Laumer, an old abbey from the 12C taking the name of the founder and finished early in the 13C. The Church is a point of many pilgrimages as it contains many Saints such as Saint Lubin, Saint Laumer, Sainte Marie l’Egyptienne and a fragment from the Cross of Christ. It is very vast and impressive; the Church is  Roman in architecture with three levels of elevation, Inside it has huge transepts with beautiful chapels and  contemporary stained glass Windows showing a brilliant light in yellow and blue proper for the meditation.

Of course, on the way out we stop by Pata  Pain bakery just around the hotel in St Gervais la Fôret to load up on sandwiches and drinks and pastries for the trip back home lol! http://www.patapain.com/trouver-restaurant

And of course finish another visit with the family this time to Blois with its magical shopping Streets and pretty train station where we park just in front in square Pasteur. Enjoy Blois is more than the castle ! AND, Merry Christmas!!!

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One Comment to “The magic and architecture richness of Blois”

  1. Magical Blois, like a fairytale! 🙂

    Like

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