(as of May 20, 2009)

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The XXIst Rencontres de Blois, entitled «Windows on the Universe» will be held at the Château Royal de Blois, France, from Sunday, June 21st to Friday June 26th, 2009. The postal address of the conference when in session is:

  Rencontres de Blois
Château de Blois
41000 BLOIS



The picturesque old French town of Blois, famous for its XIV-XVIIth century chateau, is about 170 km (100 miles) from Paris in the beautiful region of the «Châteaux de la Loire».


1. Welcome and registration

Participants are expected to arrive on Sunday afternoon, June 21st. Registration at the conference office in the Château de Blois will start at about 15:00 on Sunday, June 21st. A welcome cocktail will be offered to the participants and their families at 19:00. It will be followed by dinner at the Château.

2. Conference schedule

The conference will start on Monday, June 22nd at 9:00 and will end at about 16:00 on Friday, June 26th.

The conference room will be located at the Château Royal de Blois itself.

Theconference organisers hope and trust that participants will stay for the entire conference. That is the spirit in which this meeting is organised, in order to maximise the opportunities for scientific exchange. We regret, but the conference expenses cannot be reduced for partial attendance.

3. Conference facilities

The following equipment will be available: a slide projector for 5 cm x 5 cm slides, an overhead-projector for transparencies, and a video projector for computer presentations. It is also advisable to come with a backup copy of your slides, on a USB key or CD.

Speakers are also asked to come with a good photocopy of their presentation: it is customary at these meetings to leave a copy "lying around" for consultation.

5. Proceedings

The proceedings will be edited and published if a sufficient number of participants send in their manuscripts by the proceedings deadline. Please note that no reminders will be sent before the deadline - we consider that participants should be responsible for keeping to schedule. Participants will receive a copy of the proceedings at no extra charge.

Deadline for submitting the manuscript: November 1st, 2009. However, the conference organizers would appreciate very much if participants could come to the conference with their manuscripts ready - this will save a great deal of hassle. Instructions for submitting the manuscripts will be up on the web site in due course; please be aware that we will require the manuscripts to be in the form of ASCII files (Mac or PC) using the LATEX typesetting convention. No other format or support will be accepted since we do not have the (wo)manpower to do multiple conversions.

6. Registration fee

If you wish to participate in the conference, you should register as soon as possible using the on-line registration form which is on this web site.

The deadline for registration and hotel reservation is April 15th, 2009.

The registration fee for participants will amount to 370 Euros.

Accompanying persons will be charged 150 Euros to cover the conference banquet and the social activities, i.e. travel to and visits of the chateau at Chenonceau, the Clos Lucé (the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci) and of course a guided tour of the Blois Chateau itself .

Payment of the registration fee can be made:

- by personal check in euros drawn on a French Bank only to the order of Rencontres de Blois, sent to the conference secretariat (if you wish, but prepayment of the registration fee is not obligatory) or on arrival at the conference. To avoid ruinous bank fees which are beyond our control, we will accept neither foreign currency personal cheques, nor indeed any personal cheques drawn on a non-French bank.

- by traveller's checks in euros or US dollars on arrival at the conference.

- prepayment (if you wish, but prepayment of the registration fee is not obligatory) by bank transfer (remember to add 23 Euros for bank fees if transferring from outside France) to the following account:

Full details of our bank account (which you may need if transferring from abroad) and which include de BICS and IBAN numbers, are given in the "Relevé d'Identité bancaire" below:

It will take one month for our account to be credited, so please have have your bank make the transfer made before April 20.

In any case, bring proof of the transfer and give it to the conference secretariat during registration in Blois.

Please note that as an educational organisation we unfortunately cannot accept Credit Card payment.

7. Accommodation

Hotel accommodation will be available in 3 categories :

one star (*), two stars (**) and three stars (***), all rooms having either a shower or a bath.

Participants are asked to arrange their accommodation themselves, in order to reduce the workload on the conference secretary. A certain number of hotels have agreed to hold rooms for the conference until April 15, 2009; the list, together with a link to an interactive map, can be found by clicking on hotels.

Only if for some reason you are unable to do this, should you indicate on the registration form that you would like the conference secretary to do this for you, indicating your requirements.

8. Meals

In order to enhance the interaction and exchange between participants, all participants are requested to have lunch and dinner together. The conference has arranged with a caterer to serve lunch and dinner in the Château Royal de Blois.

For participants, the package cost for 5 days is 280 Euros and should be paid to the caterer on the conference site; since this is a specially negotiated "package deal" for the conference, it cannot be reduced for partial attendance.

For accompanying persons, there are two possibilities only (in either case, payment should be made to the caterer on the conference site at arrival):

either: lunch and dinner at the castle, with the participants - the package cost for 5 days is 280 euros,

or: just dinner at the castle - after some negotiation, the caterer has agreed that accompanying persons (only) need not return to the castle for lunch; in this case the package cost for 4 dinners is 130 euros (note that the conference banquet is covered by the registration fee).

9. Funding

Some very limited financial support may be available for Eastern European researchers who cannot obtain funding from their home institutes. A suitable funding application form is available on this site; if you need funding, you should fill in this form and send a signed copy by post or fax to the address indicated; please be aware that our budget is restricted.

Citizens of other countries requiring financial support should also fill in the same funding application form. In this latter case, it is essential that the application form (even if incomplete) reach us before January 10 2009.

10. Social program

Various social activities are planned during the conference for participants, their families and guests : this will innclude visits of the Châteaux of Blois , and Chenonceau, the Clos Lucé (last home of Leonardo da Vinci) and a "Son et Lumiere" show at the Chateau de Blois (in English on Wednesdays only). An additional program for the accompanying persons (cost not included in the above) will be organized in collaboration with the tourist office of Blois.

11. Travel

The most convenient way to reach Blois is to arrive in Paris and take a train (SNCF) from the Austerlitz railway station to Blois. There are frequent train from Paris to Blois; the following schedule (just a few particularly convenient trains are indicated) is, for the time being, only indicative, bein based on last year's schedule. A valid time table will be put up when available. In any case you are strongly advised to check with your travel agency!

Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Friday, June 26th, 2009
Departure from


Arrival in Blois Departure from Blois Arrival in Paris Austerlitz
11 h 41 13 h 37 13 h 25 15 h 11
13 h 35 15 h 29 15 h 39 17 h 34
15 h 47 17 h 28 17 h 28 19 h 59
17 h 36 19 h 02    

For participants arriving by train, a conference bus will be waiting at the station at the following approximate times (again, a more exact schedule will be put up here when available):




Blois can also easily be reached by car. Take the exit "Blois" on the Motorway ("autoroute'') A10 connecting Paris to the Chateaux de la Loire area (about 2 hours drive). Once in Blois, follow the signs "Centre".

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