What: Château de Cheverny Where: Loire Valley, France
MyStylery on tour: Me in front of the Château de Cheverny in the Loire Valley nearby the idyllic town of Blois
Once upon a time … that’s how my story today about the Château de Cheverny, which I just visited during my weekend at the Loire-valley, could begin. The castle, built in the renaissance style, is one of the biggest Loire castles and has been family-owned for over seven centuries. Albeit with a few disruptions, entanglements and confusions. But step by step.
The painted wooden ceilings by Jean Moniers impress me. It must have taken him a long time to paint this
Built from 1624 to 1640 by count Henri Hurault on the remains of the former castle, a certain Madame Diane de Poitiers decided to annex the Château. Resistance futile, Madame de Poitiers – who had just been removed out of her own castle Chenonceau by Catherine de Medici – was the mistress of Henri II. and therefore certainly had the upper hand. A century later the castle, temporarily acquired back by the Hurault family, fell into strangers hands once more. This time it was the heirs, who were a little shy on money to accept the costly inheritance. So they sold.
The dining hall is dominated by heavy oak furniture from the 19th century. Interesting: The walls are covered by leather, which has the family’s coat of arms imprinted. The silver-coated bronze chandelier above the dining table weighs considerable 100 kilos*
1825 Victor Hurault, Marquis de Vibraye and adjutant of King Charles X. brought the premises back into the family, where his descendants still live today. Namely in the right wing of the castle, which is made out of tuff. The rest – including a gorgeous 100 hectare castle park in English-style is open to the public.
The noble staircase of honor built in the style of Louis XIII. with garlands- and fruit-motives, emblems of the fine arts and a 25 (!) kilogram heavy knight’s armor from the 16th century
Such a castle doesn’t just look nice. It’s expensive. Continuously. To carry the costs, Philippe de Vibraye, great-uncle of the current owner decided to open the castle to the public. He was very progressive with this idea. Other noble families periodically sold their silverware to repair the holes in the roof from the proceeds. Since then Cheverny has been opened 365 days per year and with the splendid rooms, furnished mostly originally by Jean Monier is definitely worth a trip. BvH
The ‘Tintin’ exhibition Castle Cheverny inspired the Belgian cartoonist Hergé to his ‘Château de Moulinsart’ in the Tintin cartoons. Mentioned for the first time in 1942 in an adventure of the journalist ‘Tintin’, Château Moulinsart became the home of Tintin, Snowy, Professor Calculus, Captain Haddock, and Nestor, the butler. Since 2001 the permanent exhibition, domiciled in Cheverny shows Tintins room, Professor Calculus’ laboratory, as well as the cellar of Château Moulinsart.
In the great salon a harp from the 18th century, which is still being played today. The portrait above the fireplace shows Marie Johanne de la Carre Saumery, Countess of Cheverny
Mantelpiece in the armory
The arms room presents itself in its original state. It has never been restored. The collection of weapons and armors originates from the 15th, 16th, and 17th century. The gobelin tapestry from the 17th century belongs to the further treasures of the castle
Again magnificent ceiling paintings
The regal chambers for the King – here the bed canopysolely with precious fabrics – should he honor the castle with a visit
Did these amazing ceiling-portraits bestowed sweet dreams to the King?
The tableware ‘An Autumn in Cheverny’ had been designed especially for the Counts’ family. By the way, the idea, to set the forks with the fork arms upside down, has been introduced by Louis XV. He wanted to prevent, getting caught by the fork arms with his ruffled sleeves. Interesting?
Apropos: beds of this time aren’t so short because people were shorter then, but because one slept sitting, the lying position was reserved for the dead. Furthermore one was afraid to swallow ones’ own tongue
The children’s room with toys and wooden horses from the time of Napoleon III.
The bedchamber with the bridal dress of the current Marquise Constance de Vibraye, a born Barbat du Closel, who married Charles-Antoine de Vibraye in this dress in 1994*
In the birth room mothers presented their newborn children. The mahogany-cradle is a rare Empire relic …
… With writing desk …
The library includes 2,000 books*
The castle’s own chapel
The Marquis and his family
Today the Marquis Charles-Antoine de Vibraye and his family live here
In its whole history Château de Cheverny has never been unoccupied
View from the south facade into the park
The English park with impressive and rare tree species, Paul de Vibraye had planted there from 1820 to 1860:
Linden, giant sequoia, and cedars
At the ‘apprentices’ garden’ modern garden architecture is showcased since 2006
The castle is opened daily and has only been closed three times for a few hours: 1963 during the visit of the Queen Mom of England, 1976 for the burial of the Marquis de Vibraye and 1994 on the occasion of the marriage of the current owner Marquis Charles-Antoine de Vibraye
Today the orangery from the 18th century accommodates a beautiful café for visitors of the Château
At the moment the garden presents itself in a autumnal explosion of colors: Magnificent
The southern facade of the Château is decorated with busts of roman emperors, the northern facade is held in the style of Louis XIII. with plastered walls