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:
with some fascinating stained glass windows (I do like stained glass windows in Churches):
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:
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).
Inside the building you are met by a range of beautiful furniture and at times very over the top wall paper.
The emblem of François I, the salamander can be found through out this wing, quite an odd symbol really.
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.
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.
During the short stay we also managed to take a trip out the to the former [Royal Château de Chenonceau].
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.
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:
The Château has a large amount of grounds with some very well kept gardens, fountains and even a maze!
If you fancy seeing more of my photos from this trip see [here]