18 June 2018

Autour de la cathédrale de Blois

Here are some more of my friend Sue's photos of Blois scenes. Behind the cathedral there, there's an elevated terrace from which you have panoramic views of the rooftops of the town, the old bridge, and the Loire River.

One of the first things we saw after parking the car was the scene above. "I love bicycles," Sue exclaimed. They certainly are picturesque parked on the street like this. I wonder if the person standing in front of the door of that building was the one who parked it there.

Right behind the cathedral, on the terrace, is Blois' Hôtel de Ville, or city hall. One of the major figures in the town's history was its longtime mayor, a man named Jack Lang. He was socialist president François Mitterrand's culture minister in the 1990s. Lang's policies transformed the town for the better. A huge housing project had been built on the north side of the old city center to house immigrants from all over the world. Wikipedia says that the housing project in Blois, called la ZUP (Zone à Urbaniser en Priorité) is one of the largest in France. Some 18,000 people — a third of the city's population — live there.

I'm not sure what the red deer on the left is supposed to represent. I guess it's just colorful street art. In the background is a statue of Joan of Arc, the legendary (or mythical) figure who saved France after it was invaded by the English in the Middle Ages.

If you click on the image to enlarge it, you can read the inscription on the base of the Joan of Arc statue. It says:

“To glorious Joan of Arc,
her noble province, the Lorraine,
and her cherished country, France,
from the Republic of the United States
and the City of New York,
their faithful admirers
August 15, 1921”

There is a painting by my friend CHM's grandfather featuring a scene from Joan of Arc's life in the chapel of the Château de Blois. I photographed it and wrote about it in this 2009 blog post.

Joan of Arc is said to have saved the city of Orléans from the English in 1429 when the French king asked her to lead forces carrying supplies from Blois to the people of the besieged city. Joan was burned at the stake by the English in Rouen, in Normandy, in the year 1431, at the age of  19. She was accused of heresy by the Catholic church. She had been instrumental in rallying French forces and the monarchy against the English invaders.


  1. Here is what I found on waymarking.com about the Joan of Arc statue:
    "Monument à Jeanne d’Arc - Blois - France
    Quick Description: Statue de Jeanne d'Arc et panorama sur la Loire. Réplique d'une statue de New-York et don d'un mécène. Statue of Joan of Arc and panorama on the Loire. Replica of a New York statue and gift of a patron."

    1. It looks like it could be a replica of the 1915 Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington’s equestrian statue of Joan of Arc erected in Riverside Park in New York City.

  2. My ancestors on my mothers side were from the Franche-Comté area like chm states in his comments from the other link. Chm do you know much about that area?

    1. Hi Madonna, yet another cousin from Franche-Comté!

      My maternal great-grandfather was born in Arbois and, as far as I know, all his ancestry originated from that area. He emigrated to the US in his early thirties and from him and my grandmother I knew more about the states than about Franche-Comté, even though the latter lived all her life in Paris. Unlike me, he never became a US citizen and at retirement came back to live, not in Arbois, but for some reason in the mountains of Southern France until his death.

      However, I visited Franche-Comté and I can say it is beautiful country. And the food, cheese and wine are some of the best. A lot to discover there. I can recommend it.

    2. Ha! chm apparently we would have been 20 miles apart per google maps. Levier to Arbois.

  3. A politician by the name of Jack Lang features heavily in Australia's history, as does the use of of a sword when his magic moment was spoilt.

  4. I really, really admire the paintings done by chm's grandfather. For a good while, I had one of them as my desktop background on my computer.

  5. I love that statue and the painting.


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