(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. The court façade, shown in the photo and the flight of rooms behind, which were the first to be built, are constructed on old foundations, and even the great staircase replaces a tower of roughly the same shape.

View the ground plan of Château, Blois.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.