Blois

Last updated

Blois
Blois Loire Panorama - July 2011.jpg
Panoramic view of Blois on the Loire River
Blason de Blois.png
Coat of arms
Location of Blois
France location map-Regions and departements-2016.svg
Red pog.svg
Blois
Centre-Val de Loire region location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Blois
Coordinates: 47°35′38″N1°19′41″E / 47.5939°N 1.3281°E / 47.5939; 1.3281 Coordinates: 47°35′38″N1°19′41″E / 47.5939°N 1.3281°E / 47.5939; 1.3281
Country France
Region Centre-Val de Loire
Department Loir-et-Cher
Arrondissement Blois
Canton Blois-1, 2 and 3 and Vineuil
Intercommunality Blois
Government
  Mayor (2008–2014) Marc Gricourt (PS)
Area
1
37.46 km2 (14.46 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01) [1]
47,524
  Density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
41018 /41000
Elevation63–135 m (207–443 ft)
(avg. 73 m or 240 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Blois (French pronunciation:  [blwa] ) is a city and the capital of Loir-et-Cher department in central France [2] , situated on the banks of the lower river Loire between Orléans and Tours.

Loir-et-Cher Department of France

Loir-et-Cher is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region, France. Its name is originated from two rivers which cross it, the Loir on the North and the Cher on the South. Its prefecture is Blois. The INSEE and La Poste gave it the number 41.

In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

Orléans Prefecture and commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Orléans is a prefecture and commune in north-central France, about 111 kilometres southwest of Paris. It is the capital of the Loiret department and of the Centre-Val de Loire region.

Contents

History

Though of ancient origin, Blois is first distinctly mentioned by Gregory of Tours in the 6th century, and the city gained some notability in the 9th century, when it became the seat of a powerful countship known as Blesum castrum [3] . In 1171, Blois was the site of a blood libel against its Jewish community that led to 31 Jews (by some accounts 40) being burned to death. [4] Their martyrdom also contributed to a prominent and durable school of poetry inspired by Christian persecution. [5] In 1196, Count Louis granted privileges to the townsmen; a commune, which survived throughout the Middle Ages, probably dated from this time. The counts of the Châtillon line resided at Blois more often than their predecessors, and the oldest parts of the château (from the thirteenth century) were built by them. In 1429, Joan of Arc made Blois her base of operations for the relief of Orléans. Joan of Arc rode the thirty-five miles on Wednesday 29 April to Blois to relieve Orléans. [6] After his captivity in England, Charles of Orléans in 1440 took up his residence in the château, where in 1462 his son, afterwards Louis XII, was born. In the 16th century Blois was often the resort of the French court. The Treaty of Blois, which temporarily halted the Italian Wars, was signed there in 1504–1505.

Gregory of Tours Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours

Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of the area that had been previously referred to as Gaul by the Romans. He was born Georgius Florentius and later added the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather. He is the primary contemporary source for Merovingian history. His most notable work was his Decem Libri Historiarum, better known as the Historia Francorum, a title that later chroniclers gave to it, but he is also known for his accounts of the miracles of saints, especially four books of the miracles of Martin of Tours. St. Martin's tomb was a major pilgrimage destination in the 6th century, and St. Gregory's writings had the practical effect of promoting this highly organized devotion.

Blood libel or ritual murder libel is an antisemitic canard accusing Jews of murdering Christian children in order to use their blood as part of religious rituals. Historically, these claims—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—have been a major theme of the persecution of Jews in Europe.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

The city's inhabitants included many Calvinists, and in 1562 and 1567 it was the scene of struggles between them and the supporters of the Catholic Church. In 1576 and 1588 Henri III, king of France, chose Blois as the meeting-place of the States-General, and in 1588 he brought about the murders of Henry, duke of Guise, and his brother, Louis, archbishop of Reims and cardinal, in the Château, where their deaths were shortly followed by that of the queen-mother, Catherine de' Medici. From 1617 to 1619 Marie de' Medici, wife of King Henri IV, exiled from the court, lived at the château, which was soon afterwards given by King Louis XIII to his brother Gaston, Duke of Orléans, who lived there till his death in 1660.

Calvinism Protestant branch of Christianity

Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians.

Henry III of France King of Poland and France

Henry III was King of France from 1574 until his death and also King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575. Henry was the thirteenth king from the House of Valois, the sixth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch, and the last male of his dynasty.

Henry I, Duke of Guise Duke of Guise

Henry I, Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Count of Eu, sometimes called Le Balafré (Scarface), was the eldest son of Francis, Duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este. His maternal grandparents were Ercole II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, and Renée of France. Through his maternal grandfather, he was a descendant of Lucrezia Borgia and Pope Alexander VI.

The bishopric, seated at Blois Cathedral, dates from the end of the 17th century. In 1814 Blois was for a short time the seat of the regency of Marie Louise, wife of Napoleon I.

Blois Cathedral Church in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Blois Cathedral, or the Cathedral of St. Louis of Blois, is a Late Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral in Blois, France. It has been a monument historique since 1906.

Blois was occupied during World War II by the German army, which took the city on 18 June 1940. The city was liberated by American soldiers during the last two weeks of August 1944. On both occasions, the city withstood several days of bombing.

Population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1793 13,280    
1800 14,900+12.2%
1806 13,054−12.4%
1821 15,147+16.0%
1831 13,138−13.3%
1836 13,628+3.7%
1841 16,156+18.6%
1846 17,149+6.1%
1851 17,749+3.5%
1856 17,749+0.0%
1861 20,331+14.5%
1866 20,068−1.3%
1872 19,860−1.0%
1876 20,515+3.3%
1881 21,077+2.7%
1886 22,150+5.1%
1891 23,457+5.9%
1896 23,542+0.4%
YearPop.±%
1901 23,789+1.0%
1906 23,972+0.8%
1911 23,955−0.1%
1921 23,989+0.1%
1926 23,991+0.0%
1931 24,607+2.6%
1936 26,025+5.8%
1946 26,774+2.9%
1954 28,190+5.3%
1962 33,838+20.0%
1968 42,264+24.9%
1975 49,778+17.8%
1982 47,243−5.1%
1990 49,318+4.4%
1999 49,062−0.5%
2006 48,487−1.2%
2009 46,013−5.1%
2012 45,903−0.2%

Tourism

Château de Blois

The Château de Blois, a Renaissance château once occupied by King Louis XII, is located in the centre of the city, and an 18th-century stone bridge spans the Loire. As Blois is built on a pair of steep hills, winding and steep pathways run through the city, culminating in long staircases at various points. To the south of the city, the Forêt de Russy is a reminder of the thick woods that once covered the area.

Château de Blois residence in Blois, France

The Royal Château de Blois is located in the city center of Blois at the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France. The residence of several French kings, it is also the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans.

Renaissance European cultural period, 14th to 17th century

The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages.

Louis XII of France King of France

Louis XII was King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498. Louis was the eighth French king from the House of Valois, and the first from the Orléans branch of that dynasty.

The house of magic

La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin (The House of Magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin) is a museum fronting on the Château. As a museum of France, it is the only public museum in Europe which incorporates in one place collections of magic and a site for permanent performing arts, and is directly reflects the personality of Robert-Houdin. [7] [8] [9] [10]

La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin

La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin is a museum which faces the Royal Château de Blois. It is located in the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France, in the center of the city of Blois. As a museum of France and bearing the official label of "Musée de France", it is the only public museum in Europe which incorporates in one place collections of magic and a site for permanent performing arts. The creation of such a site is directly linked to the personality of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, a famous French illusionist born in Blois in 1805.

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin French magician

Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French magician. He is widely considered the father of the modern style of conjuring.

Transport

The Gare de Blois railway station offers direct connections to Paris, Orléans, Tours, Nantes and several regional destinations. The A10 motorway connects Blois with Paris, Orléans and Tours.

Personalities

Bridge over the Loire in Blois Blois.Loirebruecke.wmt.jpg
Bridge over the Loire in Blois
Chateau de Blois Loire Cher Blois1 tango7174.jpg
Château de Blois
Chateau de Blois (view from the west) Chateau de Blois-1.JPG
Château de Blois (view from the west)

Blois was the birthplace of:

International relations

Blois is twinned with:

Fictional references

Athos, the count of La Fère (from Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers ) has a castle in Blois, in Twenty Years After , and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (from the same author).

Related Research Articles

Tours Prefecture and commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Tours is a city in the west of France. It is the administrative centre of the Indre-et-Loire department and the largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. In 2012, the city of Tours had 134,978 inhabitants, and the population of the whole metropolitan area was 483,744.

Siege of Orléans Turning point and French Victory in the Hundred Years War

The Siege of Orléans was the watershed of the Hundred Years' War between France and England. It was the French royal army's first major military victory to follow the crushing defeat at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, and also the first while Joan of Arc was with the army. The siege took place at the pinnacle of English power during the later stages of the war. The city held strategic and symbolic significance to both sides of the conflict. The consensus among contemporaries was that the English regent, John of Lancaster, would have succeeded in realizing his brother the English king Henry V's dream of conquering all of France if Orléans fell. For half a year the English and their French allies appeared to be winning but the siege collapsed nine days after Joan's arrival.

Château de Cheverny castle

The Château de Cheverny is located at Cheverny, in the département of Loir-et-Cher in the Loire Valley in France. It is one of the châteaux of the Loire valley

Château dUssé castle

Ussé is a castle in the Indre-et-Loire département, in France. The stronghold at the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley was first fortified in the eleventh century by the Norman seigneur of Ussé, Gueldin de Saumur, who surrounded the fort with a palisade on a high terrace. The site passed to the Comte de Blois, who rebuilt in stone.

Amboise Commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Amboise is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies on the banks of the Loire River, 27 kilometres (17 mi) east of Tours. Today a small market town, it was once home of the French royal court. The town of Amboise is also only about 18 kilometres (11 mi) away from the historic Château de Chenonceau, situated on the Cher River near the small village of Chenonceaux.

John IV, Duke of Brittany Duke of Brittany

John IV the Conqueror KG was Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1345 until his death and 7th Earl of Richmond from 1372 until his death.

Louis I, Duke of Orléans French prince, regent of France

Louis I of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was also, Duke of Touraine (1386–1392), Count of Valois (1386?–1406) Blois (1397–1407), Angoulême (1404–1407), Périgord (1400–1407) and Soissons (1404–07).

Jean II, Duke of Alençon 15th-century Duke of Alençon

John II of Alençon was the son of John I of Alençon and his wife Marie of Brittany, Lady of La Guerche (1391–1446), daughter of John V, Duke of Brittany and Joan of Navarre. He succeeded his father as Duke of Alençon and Count of Perche as a minor in 1415, after the latter's death at the Battle of Agincourt. He is best known as a general in the Last Phase of the Hundred Years' War and for his role as a comrade-in-arms of Joan of Arc, who called him "le beau duc".

Jargeau Commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Jargeau is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France.

Sancerre Commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Sancerre is a medieval hilltop town (ville), commune and canton in the Cher department of central France overlooking the Loire River. It is noted for its wine.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Orléans

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orléans is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese currently corresponds to the Départment of Loiret. The current bishop is Jacques André Blaquart, who was appointed in 2010.

Château de Troussay castle

The Château de Troussay is one of the smallest Châteaux of the Loire Valley, and is situated in Cheverny, in the Loir-et-Cher.

Château de Chinon castle in France

Château de Chinon is a castle located on the bank of the Vienne river in Chinon, France. It was founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois. In the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. In 1156 Henry II of England, a member of the House of Anjou, took the castle from his brother Geoffrey, Count of Nantes after Geoffrey had rebelled for a second time. Henry favoured the Château de Chinon as a residence. Most of the standing structure can be attributed to his reign and he died there in 1189.

Gilbert Motier de La Fayette French noble

Gilbert Motier de La Fayette Seigneur of La Fayette, Pontgibaud, Ayes, Nébouzac, Saint-Romain and Montel-de-Gelat was a Marshal of France and an ancestor of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.

March to Reims

After the lifting of the siege of Orléans and the decisive French victory at the Battle of Patay, the Anglo-Burgundian threat was ended. Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin Charles to go to be crowned at Reims. The march though the heart of territory controlled by the hostile Burgundians was successful and would give the throne of the French monarchy to Charles VII, who had been ousted therefrom by the Treaty of Troyes.

References

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. "Blois | Loire Valley | France". www.experienceloire.com. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  3. "The Chateau de Blois & St Nicholas Cathedral, Blois from the River Loire | Artware Fine Art". www.artwarefineart.com. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  4. The Martyrs of Blois
  5. JEWISH POETRY Jewish Poetry And Martyrdom In Medieval France. Susan L. Einbinder. Princeton University Press. 2002.
  6. Smith, John, Holland (1973). "Joan of Arc." New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
  7. Blois, La Maison de la Magie at virtourist.com
  8. "Mussee de la Magie". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011.
  9. "Travel signposts, Paris Museum of Magic". Archived from the original on 2 March 2011.
  10. "Keck, Gayle, Washington Post, And Now for Paris' Next Trick". The Washington Post. 12 June 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  11. "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.