Sometimes it’s the things you stumble upon while travelling that make for the most memorable experiences. The Sound and Light Show at the Château de Blois was one of them.
Even though our accommodation was in Blois, we were using the town as a base to visit the châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau and had no plans to visit the Château de Blois. However, while enjoying a not-so-French meal of pizza at the Restaurant Le Duc de Guise, there was a flyer on the table advertising the Son et Lumière de Château de Blois – a sound and light show at the castle. Initially we wrote it off – having spent the day on a six hour train from Munich to Paris, and then another hour getting to the Loire Valley, we were looking forward to sleep. However, the show was only presented in English for one night during our stay in Blois, and it looked awesome.
Sound and Light Show at Château de Blois
Just after 10pm we clustered in the courtyard of the Royal Castle of Blois and waited for the show to begin. And then it began to rain.
Luckily for us, just as the show started, the rain stopped – just as well, because the experience would not have been the same if we had to watch it huddled under the arches.
The château tells its story
The Sound and Light show is told from the point of view of the castle itself. The ‘castle’ recounts the intrigues, dramas, mysteries, and tragedies that have taken place over its existence.
The show is an immersive experience: it is easy to forget that you are watching static images as the stories are played out using projections displayed on three walls of the courtyard with an accompanying soundtrack.
Over the forty-five minutes the voice-over recounts many stories, though the two that interested me most were to do with Joan of Arc and Catherine de Medici.
Joan of Arc rests at Blois before breaking the siege at Orlèans
I was aware of the story of Joan of Arc, but I didn’t know that she had a connection with the town of Blois: after being presented with her armour in Tours, she based herself in Blois to plan military operations. Before continuing on to fight the English and break their siege of nearby Orlèans, she had her standard blessed at the Eglise Saint-Sauveur.
Catherine de Medici guards her sons’ kingships
Catherine de Medici was not only Queen of France from 1547 – 1559, but also saw three of her sons – Francois II, Charles XI, and Henri III – become Kings of France and held a lot of influence over their rule. The Sound of Light show highlights Blois during the French Wars of Religion which plagued the reigns of Catherine’s sons and caused her youngest son, Henry III, to have his enemy, the Duc de Guise, murdered at Château de Blois.
Not interested in castles and history?
Even if you’re not interested in castles and history, this magnificent production might just change your mind! As the projections change the appearance of the Château de Blois it makes me want to go behind the scenes to learn more about how they put together Sound and Light Show.
All in all, the lack of sleep was more than worth it – the Sound and Light Show gave me a chance to learn more about the Château de Blois when I wouldn’t have otherwise had the time.
Have you ever been to a sound and light show? Were you impressed? Share your thoughts in the comments!
What you need to know:
- Visit the official site of the Château de Blois to find out more about the Sound and Light show