Blois is ideal for a walk while enjoying a charming setting rich in history.
The pedestrianised streets of the old town are lined with venerable half-timbered houses and offer intriguing and alluring vistas.
In Blois, all roads lead to the château. Richly decorated and superbly restored in the 19th century, this royal residence saw a succession of no fewer than seven kings and ten queens of France.
On a completely different theme, don’t miss the Maison de la Magie (House of Magic), located opposite the château. Its facade will amaze you. This grand bourgeoise mansion dating from the middle of the 19th century offers a delightful surprise every half hour when a mechanical six-headed dragon appears in the windows! Its permanent collection dedicated to the magical arts also pays tribute to the 19th century illusionist Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, the father of modern conjuring and one of the city’s most famous sons.
You also won’t want to miss the Fondation du Doute (Foundation of Doubt), an eccentric and wonderfully quirky contemporary art centre with a facade covered with metal plaques bearing works by the artist Ben, who brought the Fluxus avant-garde art movement to France. Among the permanent collections housed here are works, videos and interviews with major players in the movement, from the great John Cage to Joseph Beuys and Georg Brecht.