This was the castle where Joan of Arc was blessed before setting off to defeat the English at Orléans, the turning point in the Hundred Years War.
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Dominating the Loire River, the royal castle of Blois is not only one of the most prestigious Renaissance monuments in France but also a brilliant illustration of the evolution of the French architecture from the Middle ages to the 17th century.
About the middle of the 10th century, the name of Thibaud I is recorded Count of Blois, he was the founder of the family who remained in power until 1230. Blois became the most important town in the region. The first stone castle was built to protect the town dates back to that period. An independent bastion surrounded the castle, and followed the line of the headland on which it was erected. The numerous medieval remains still exists. The best preserved medieval tower is situated on a terrace overlooking the Loire.
While the Franco-Anglo was (named the Hundred Years War) raged in the real, an event took place that determined the future of the county of Blois, the ancient fortress became a royal castle. At the end of the 14th. century, the county of Blois was sold to Prince Louis of Orleans, son of the king of France Charles V. He lived in the castle for 25 years attracting a small court of scholars and poets. His grandson, Louis XII became king of France in 1498 and decided to move to Blois, in this way, the small town became a royal town and the capital of the Kingdom.
Under Louis XII and Francis I the town of Blois grew considerably. But after the disaster of Pavia in 1525, Francis I never returned to Blois and his successors only paid short visits to the town.
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