Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Blois (anc. Blessa), the capital of the department of Loir-et-Cher, France, is prettily situated on the right bank of the Loire, 35 miles S. of Orleans, and communicates by a bridge with the suburb of Vienne on the opposite side. Blois is not known in history before the 6th century of our era. Until 1391 it was the centre of a county, but being bought by Louis XII., became a favourite residence of Francis I., Charles IX., and Henry III. The castle, a splendid structure recently restored in good taste, dates from the 13th century with many subsequent additions. Within its walls the Duc de Guise was assassinated (1588) by order of Henry III., and Marie de Medicis was imprisoned. In 1814 Marie Louise took refuge there. The hotel de ville, the old episcopal palace, now the prefecture, the churches of St. Vincent and St. Nicholas, and the modern cathedral of St. Louis possess features of interest. Water is still supplied by an aqueduct cut in the solid rock by the Romans. The town is the seat of an archbishopric, and has the law courts, colleges, schools, and other institutions of a provincial capital, and a large garrison is maintained there. Many ancient houses remain in the streets that climb by steps from the Loire. The chief manufactures are pottery, gloves, and hosiery. A large trade is carried on in corn, wine, brandy, timber, and agricultural products.