The entrance to the château leaves no doubt whose house this was.  The king on horseback is Louis XII* identified by the crowned porcupines over the main gateway and side door.

 

 

Once through the gate, the king’s personal emblem appears in spiny variations over a courtyard door and at regular intervals through the building.  Later dukes and monarchs left their mark on the château and their emblems over its doors, the salamander of François I prominent among them. (Click on any photo to view the gallery)

 

 

It’s not only the nobility who like to make their doors distinctive.   Some doors in the old town of Blois are distinguished by their unusual carving, others by their door knockers or their ingenious bell pulls.  (Click above or below for a closer view)

 

 

Half the doors in the old town of Blois could be candidates for inclusion in Thursday Doors.

 

 

* Louis XII was born in the Château de Blois in 1462, was crowned in Reims in 1498 and died in Paris in 1515.  Most of the buildings in the streets around the château date from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.