The story of the castle
The domain of Cheverny belongs to the same family for more than six centuries, the Hurault, the financiers and the officers in the service of several kings of France.The castle is one of the biggest of the Loire Valley and is always inhabited by the descendants of the Hurault: the Marquess and Marchioness de Vibraye.
Of the first castle, built in the XVIth century, there are only rare vestiges, the trace of which is still visible in outbuildings. Then, the seigneury becomes in the middle of the XVIth century the property of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of king Henri II, who sells her to the son of the previous owner and in his wife..
Their son, Henri Hurault, and his wife Marguerite Gaillard de La Morinière, build the castle between 1624 and 1630. They entrust the realization of the works to the architect Jacques Bougier (said Boyer of Blois), who also worked on the new arrangement of the castle of Blois. It uses the stone of " Bourré (Loir-et-Cher) ", a stone native of this village of the Valley of the Cher. It has the peculiarity to go paler and harder by aging, what explains the whiteness of the facades of the castle.
Their daughter, Elisabeth, marchioness of Montglas, finishes the interior design by 1650 by means of the painter from Blois Jean Mosnier. During the next 150 years, the castle of Cheverny changes owners repeatedly. Finally, in 1825, Anne-Victor Hurault, marquess of Vibraye, buys back the property of his ancestors.
The castle of Cheverny is opened to the public since 1922 on the idea of Philippe de Vibraye, great-uncle of the current owner, marquess Charles-Antoine of Vibraye. But to do it, he had to obtain the authorization of his mother. She accepted on a single condition: that Cheverny remains closed on Tuesdays, because she receives her friends there! The domain welcomes every year more than 350 000 visitors..
THE MOST SPLENDIDLY FURNISHED CASTLE FROM THE LOIRE VALLEY
The castle, which was always inhabited, presents rooms of furniture and internal arrangements outstandingly well kept. The apartments of the first floor testify of the French art de vivre: the room of the births, the red boudoir, the nursery, the room of the bridegrooms, the dining room and the sitting room..
But Cheverny holds many other treasures as for example the tapestry of the Gobelins of the XVIIth century presented in the Arms room, or still the chest of drawers of period Louis XIV of style Boulle and the regulator of period Louis XV (clock of precision which served to adjust all the other clocks of the castle) that we can admire in the lounge of the Tapestries. Without forgetting, the four-poster bed decorated with Persian embroidery of the XVIth century which was used by Henri IV during his venue in the former castle.
THE PARK AND THE GARDENS OF THE CASTLE
Open to the public, an English-style park and gardens of a surface of about 100 hectares surround the castle. Planted between 1820 and 1860 by Paul de Vibraye, trees of rare gasolines and magnificent specimens establish the English-style park: lime trees, sequoias and several varieties of cedars.
The Apprentices’ garden, created in 2006, is situated between the castle and the detached house of the Orangery, which was of use as warehouse to a part of the national furniture during the Second World War. This garden of contemporary design was inspired by plans found by an old formal garden, which was on the same location..
Finally, the vegetable garden was drawn and realized in 2004, near the room of trophies and outbuildings. Designed by Marchioness de Vibraye, it combines the original use of various materials of colors, vegetables and flowers.
L’ÉQUIPAGE DE CHEVERNY ET LE CHENIL
The domain of Cheverny is also the Mecca of venery, the art of the hunting with hounds.
The equipage of Cheverny was established in 1850 by the Marquis de Vibraye. Nowadays, in the forest of Cheverny and in the nearby forests, the equipage takes exclusively deers.
In the outbuildings of the castle, a kennel accommodates near hundred of three-colored Anglo-French dogs. Almost every day, at a set time, the public can attend the astonishing feeding of the dogs.
THE EXHIBITION TINTIN
The castle of Cheverny inspired the castle of Marlinspike to the Belgian comic strip writer, Hergé. In 1942, during a new adventure of the reporter Tintin, the castle of Marlinspike makes its first appearance in The Secret of The Unicorn. It becomes then the main residence of Tintin, Snowy, the Professor Calculus, the Captain Haddock and the butler Nestor.
The Domain of Cheverny and the Hergé foundation joined to realize and set up a permanent exhibition on the theme: the secrets of Marlinspike. We can see the room of Tintin, the laboratory of the Professor Calculus, or still the cellar of the castle of Marlinspike there.
This exhibition is opened since 2001 to the public and has already welcomed more than 650 000 visitors.