(active 1510s in Blois)

Exterior view

Château, Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

The Château of Blois comprises several buildings. Construction of these buildings began in the 13th century and ended in the 17th century. There are four architectural styles represented which include: the 13th-century medieval fortress, the Louis XII Gothic wing, the François I Renaissance wing, and the Gaston of Orleans Classical wing. (See the four parts together at the pages of François Mansart.)

Blois was François I's earliest passion, and six months after his succession in 1515 we find him giving orders for extensive building operations there. During the following nine years there rose the wing which bears his name and which stands today, slightly truncated on the court side and heavily restored, as the first great monument of his reign.

In spite of the grandeur of his ideas, the King allowed himself to be tied by the remains of surviving medieval buildings. On the north-west front overlooking the town, shown on the photo, the new logge and the rooms which they veil, are constructed between three medieval round towers, one of which is clearly visible at the extreme right, while the other two have their foundations incorporated in the new structure. This economical use of existing foundations accounts for certain irregularities in the design of the wing.

View the plan of Château, Blois.

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