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Loire Valley   Tourist Information Loir-et-Cher,
Loire Valley France
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Things to see and do in Loir-et-Cher, Loire Valley France

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Tourist Info Loir-et-Cher, Loire Valley: Blois  
The capital city of the Loir-et-Cher department, Blois is famous for its magnifient château which was one owned by King Louis XII. It dominates the city, which is perched on two hillsides with steep alleyways and streets. The Château is of particular interest because of its distinct and separate architectural styles, these being classical, medieval, renaissance and gothic. Within the walls of the château are other attractions. The Archaeology museum houses a fine collection of pottery, coins and bones of extince species. Also within the château are the Musée de Beaux Arts and the Salles des Etats Généraux. This was formerly used as a courtroom where the Dukes of Blois presided over trials. Other attractions in Blois include the bizarrely named 'House of Acrobats.' There are no acrobats performing tricks, but the house is so named because of the timbers which are decorated with characters taken from medieval farces. The house survived the WWII bombings intact, one of the few houses of this period to do so. The House of Magic however, lives up to its name. On display are articles, paintings and photographs relating to the magician's craft. The 19th century magician Robert Houdin is remembered here as the magician who later inspired the Great Houdini. The Musée de L'Objet is actually a museum of modern art housing a splendid collection of exhibits from all over the world. Also to visit is the 17th century gothic St Louis' Cathedral in the old town. It was rebuilt following the destruction of the original as a result of a hurricane in 1678. It has some impressive stained glass and carvings, and a crypt dating from the 10th & 11th centuries. Nearby are the Gardens of the Bishop's Palace where there are splendid views over the city. The Royal Flower Gardens are exceptionally beautiful in summer when they are planted with magnificent floral displays. Other noteworthy places are St. Nicholas' Church which stands close to the River Loire and St. Vincent's Church in the Place Victor Hugo which is noted for its stained glass depicting the life of Christ. The Town Hall is impressive with a fine sundial located just outside the building.  
Tourist Info Loir-et-Cher, Loire Valley: Montrichard  
Montrichard is a pretty town on the banks of the River Loire between Tours and Blois, and therefore fishing and boating are amongst the attractions here. The town features a medieval château, sound and light shows during the summer, a municipal swimming pool and a leisure centre Le Parc Plage with has mini golf, tennis, beach volleyball, boules, canoeing and a skateboarding track. For cyclists there are marked routes (maps available from the Tourist Office). Wine caves include the Cave Paul Buisse, and the town has a market on Monday and Saturday mornings.  
Tourist Info Loir-et-Cher, Loire Valley: Romorantin  
Situated approximately 65km south of Orléans, on the River Sauldre, Romorantin is famous for its Journée Gastronomiques which take place during the last weekend of October. The local restaurants, and a huge variety of street stalls set out to create traditional and original recipes based on apples; pumpkins, wild mushroms and game. You will be spoilt for choice. The town's other main attraction is the Musée de Sologne which is located in the centre of the town,with exhibits of local traditions, ecology and history. Romorantin has markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and for shopping there is the huge Champion Hypermarket. For wine buffs, the Romorantin grape variety, introduced to the Loire by 15th century King François, produces a distinctive wine. Other attractions include Le Square Ferdinand Buisson, a public park, Beauvais Park & Château with 13 hectares to explore, the Town Hall with its Chinese style pagoda depicting seabirds, and the Church of St. Etienne.  
Tourist Info Loir-et-Cher, Loire Valley: St Aignan  
St Aignan is the site of one of Europe's top zoos, Beauval Zoo, with over 4000 different animal species, 4 tropical greenhouses, seal and hawk shows and an African Savannah. Other attractions include the Château of St Aignan. The Hagard Tower is the only remaining structure ofthe original 19th century fortress. The château is privately owned and only the exterior can be visited. The town also offers hot air ballooning from Montgolfières en Vallée en Cher. There are daily flights depending on the weather, from 200 Euros per person.  
Tourist Info Loir-et-Cher, Loire Valley: Vendome  
The pretty town of Vendôme has some impressive buildings and a pedestrianized shopping centre. The Friday market is held in the indoor market hall. The town is situated approximately 30km NW of Blois on the river Loire. Sightseeing includesthe Place St-Martin which features the Tour St-Martin, the 15th & 16th century remains of a Renaissance church which was demolished in 1857 Other places of interest are the Church of La Trinité with its ancient choir stalls and highly decorative facade, and the Chapelle du Lycée dating from 1452.  
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