A short stay in France

Over the last few days of had a great time in the Loire Valley region of France. The weather was Sunny and the evening skies were fabulous (I’ve never seen the Milky way looking so wondrous, I reckon this was the first time I’ve seen the gas clouds).
We flew into Poitiers since there is a cheap flight between Birmingham and there. Its a quaint little airport that was quite nice to go to. A nice change from the massive multiple terminal airports. [Poitiers] itself is a fairly small town but has a number of nice places to visit. One of the places we visited was the Church Notre-Dame la Grande which is the oldest Roman church of Europe. This a quite remarkable building:
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with some fascinating stained glass windows (I do like stained glass windows in Churches):
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On the second day we went to [Blois]. We visited the famous Château de Blois, a Renaissance château once occupied by King Louis XII. He can even be seen on the outside:
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Once inside the first thing that took my attention was the staircase tower, an example of the intermixing influences of French and Italian design during the construction of the François I wing (during the renaissance period).
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Inside the building you are met by a range of beautiful furniture and at times very over the top wall paper.
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The emblem of François I, the salamander can be found through out this wing, quite an odd symbol really.
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The Saint Calais chapel has some lovely stained glass windows in it. This chapel was built by Louis XII and was consecrated in 1508 but the stained-glas windows were done by Max Ingrand in 1957.
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In Blois, we also went to La Masion de la Magie… which offered an interesting afternoon magic show and a number of intriguing optical illusions.
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During the short stay we also managed to take a trip out the to the former [Royal Château de Chenonceau].
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The Château de Chenonceau was built on the Cher in the 16th century by Thomas Bohier and this involved razing the castle-kepp and the fortified mill of the Marques family. The Marques tower was kept and now lies in the forecourt of the Château.
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During the second world war the Château entrance was in the occupied zone whilst the Southern door provided access to the Free Zone… an advantage many people would have taken:
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The Château has a large amount of grounds with some very well kept gardens, fountains and even a maze!
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If you fancy seeing more of my photos from this trip see [here]

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