Did you know that Château de Cheverny was the inspiration for the fictional Marlinspike Hall (Château de Moulinsart in French) in the Adventures of Tintin books?
Chateau de Cheverny is the second castle of the Loire Valley we visit during our weekend trip.
Here are a few reasons why we love this castle.
Accounts vary about the chateau’s construction which dates anywhere between the 15th and 16th century. The original owner of the estate, Henry Le Mareschau, sold the estate to Jean Hurault, whose grandson, Jacques Hurault became the first Marquis de Vibraye.
Cheverny thus became the official seat of the Marquis de Vibraye.
The property has remained in the same family for over six centuries; this is probably why the chateau has practically maintained its classical Louis XIII architectural style.
The current Marquis and his family continue to live in the property; however, their residence is not part of the tour, of course!
A treasure trove
This castle was one of the first castles to open its doors to the public.
Visits to the chateau go through stunning rooms with original furnishings and interior decor. There are lots of treasures to be discovered in these rooms, from a Louis XIV chest in the Salle d’Armes (weapons room) to a 17th century Gobelin century.
The private apartments on the 1st floor are accessible through a stone staircase carved with trophies of arms. The furnishings in these apartments celebrate the Egyptian campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The spectacular outdoors
The estate is in a park that boasts multiple activities and lovely forest scenery. There are also themed gardens and hunting dog kennels.
There are four themed gardens in the estate. The Vegetable Garden has a large display of flowers and produce. The ornamental Apprentice’s Garden is a beautiful spot for some fantastic pictures of the estate.
Directly across from the Apprentice’s Garden is the Cafe de L’Orangerie, a great space to have a sweet or savory snack. The building housed various works of art from the Louvre during WWII, including the Mona Lisa.
There’s also a Tulip Garden with over 100000 bulbs planted each year, and a children’s favorite tree maze (planted in 2009).
Release the hounds!
One of the most exciting attractions at the estate is the kennels.
Cheverny is a famous place of vènerie, a type of hunting where hounds are essential.
There over a hundred beautiful hounds at the Cheverny kennels; these were built in 1850 and comply with various environmental and public health codes.
The dogs are a mix of English foxhound and French Poitevins.
The feeding of these hounds happens every day, and it’s open to visitors at the estate. We have to admire the task and the impressive coordination of this routine, from both human and canine participants!
Cover image: © By leoks – Shutterstock