Old City


Blois’ medieval and Renaissance old town is well worth a stroll. The façade of Maison des Acrobates – one of Blois' few surviving 15th-century houses – is decorated with wooden sculptures of figures from medieval farces. The Hôtel de Villebrême, another 15th-century townhouse, is nearby.

The Gothic-style Cathédrale St-Louis, rebuilt after a terrible storm in 1678, has a western façade mixing late-Gothic and neoclassical elements. The church's stained glass, bearing enigmatic Latin inscriptions, was created by Dutch artist Jan Dibbets in 2000.

Lovely panoramas unfold across town from the peaceful Jardins de l’Évêché (the gardens behind the cathedral) and from the top of the Escalier Denis Papin, a grand staircase linking rue du Palais with the commercial precinct around rue Denis Papin.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Blois attractions

1. Maison des Acrobates

0.02 MILES

The façade of Maison des Acrobates, one of the few surviving 15th-century houses in Blois, is decorated with wooden sculptures of figures from medieval…

3. Cathédrale St-Louis

0.07 MILES

Although Gothic in style, most of this cathedral (including the nave) was rebuilt after a terrible storm in 1678. The stained glass, bearing enigmatic…

4. Maison de la Magie

0.14 MILES

This museum of magic occupies the one-time home of watchmaker, inventor and conjurer Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin (1805–71), after whom the American magician…

5. Château Royal de Blois

0.22 MILES

Seven French kings lived in Blois' royal château, whose four grand wings were built during four distinct periods in French architecture: Gothic (13th…

6. Maison de la BD

0.24 MILES

Bandes dessinées (BD; adult comic books) have achieved the status of an art form in France. This museum, unique in the country, provides a rare…

7. Église St-Vincent-de-Paul

0.26 MILES

Built by the Jesuits in the mid-1600s, this elegantly proportioned church has features typical of the Counter-Reformation. The classical façade is adorned…

8. Fondation du Doute

0.31 MILES

Avant-garde from the floorboards to the roof, this museum showcases the art and 'state of mind' of the 1960s Fluxus movement, inspired in part by the…