Grands Châteaux of the Loire and  Ile-de-France: Château Royal de Blois

Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France: Château Royal de Blois

Live from France with Elisabeth Latrémolière

Thursday, January 28 at 12:00 p.m.
$8 Members / $15 Non-members
Online via Zoom · In French with summaries in English

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12:00 p.m. (Chicago) • 1:00 p.m. (Miami)  7:00 p.m. (Paris) 

$70 Members, series of 11 lectures  • $135 Non-members, series of 11 lectures

Our series inviting you to visit ten Grands Châteaux live from France continues! Today Russell Kelley explores the long history of the Château Royal de Blois – actually four châteaux in one! – in the company of its director Elisabeth Latrémolière.

After being home to the Counts of Blois since around 1000, the château and county of Blois were sold to the Duke of Orléans in 1391. When King Charles VIII died without a direct heir in 1498, his cousin Louis, Duc d’Orléans, who was born at Blois, became King Louis XII and the Château de Blois became a royal residence. Louis’s cousin and designated successor Francis I lived at Blois with his first wife Claude de France, daughter of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne, the young widow of Charles VIII. Surrounding its courtyard are four wings that constitute a unique example of the development of French architecture from the 13th through the 17th century: the medieval fortress of the 13th century, the Louis XII Gothic Wing (1498-1500), the Francis I Renaissance Wing (1515-1518), and the Gaston d’Orléans Classical Wing (1735-1638). With its multitude of styles, the Château de Blois evokes the destiny of seven kings and ten queens of France.

Elisabeth Latrémolière has been the Director of the Château Royal de Blois and Chief Curator of the Museums of Blois since 2005.


A board member of the Alliance Française Miami Metro, Russell Kelley is the curator and moderator of the lecture series on the Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France. He is author of The Making of Paris: The Story of How Paris Evolved from a Fishing Village into the World’s Most Beautiful City, to be published by Globe Pequot Press in March 2021. He has lived in France for nearly 30 years and has visited every château featured in this series many times since his first visit to the Loire Valley 50 years ago.

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This program is presented in partnership with the Alliance Française Miami Metro with communication support from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, the French Heritage Society, and WICE - Paris.

Through our Entrée Libre initiative, free admission to this program is offered to students enrolled in French Studies in universities and French schools in Chicago and the Midwest. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.