Located in the charming Loire Valley of France, the Cheverny Castle was built in the beginning of the 17th century, when it stood as a unique example of the purest Louis XIII classical architecture, a style that was rare in that area during that time. Today it is still marked by this extraordinarily symmetrical design and although it may not be listed as the most popular monument of the area, the Chateau de Cheverny remains one of the most fascinating.
One of the most noteworthy features of the Castle Cheverny is the fact that it was constructed of gleaming white stones, which were locally harvested from the quarries of nearby Cher Valley. Not only does the stone remain a stark white color, but it also hardens over time. Also worth mentioning is the interesting contrast of some parts of the structure. While most of the castle is rigid and uniform, there are various roof styles, including domes, bell towers and other French-style tops, adding depth and uniqueness to the imposing building.
The interior of the castle is absolutely spectacular to behold, and an incredible display of artwork. The dining room features thirty-four wooden panels which were exquisitely painted to depict the story of Don Quixote, while the King's Chamber boasts magnificent artwork from wall to ceiling, and overhead. Throughout the castle there are numerous stone fireplaces, beautiful canvas paintings and a variety of furniture pieces that have been collected over several periods and kept in impeccable condition. These pieces include a chest of drawers from Louis XIV and a clock with intricate bronze engravings from the Louis XV period.
The outside grounds of the Chateau de Cheverny are equally as beautiful as the building and interior, featuring impeccably manicured lawns that lead to a perfectly landscaped park. The park is home to a variety of trees, including giant redwoods and majestic cedar trees that hail from Lebanon, the Atlas Mountains and the Himalayas. Some of the trees are hundreds of years old. A lovely garden, inspired by the castle's original plans, features brilliant flowerbeds that provide a charming contrast to the lush greens of the grass and trees. The massive garden stretches all the way from the castle itself to the nearby orangery.
Another noteworthy feature of the Cheverny Castle is its ongoing role in traditional sport of hunting with hounds. More than 100 of these regal hunting dogs live at the castle, providing a testament to the area's royal history and the time honored traditions that have been carried on there for generations. Visitors can view the hunting dogs' kennels and can even watch the dogs as they're enjoying their nightly meal every day at 5 p.m. from April 1 through September 15.
Today the castle remains open to the public and is remarkably intact, with virtually no changes having been made to it in the past 350 years. Tours of the castle are offered that provide an up close and personal view of the beautiful woodland area of the park, during which visitors can admire the rows of magnificent and ancient trees that have stood on these grounds for hundreds of years. Visitors can hop aboard an electric car and ride along the 700-meter alley in almost perfect silence. You may even spot one of the many deer that call this part of the grounds their home. After the grounds tour, guests can then board an electrically propelled boat and cruise down the canal which crosses the park.
The Loire Valley is home to some of the most intriguing and beautiful landmarks in all of France. The Chateau de Cheverny is no exception. A visit to this magnificent castle provides a truly authentic and unforgettable experience and a glimpse of the area's rich past and breathtaking present. You'll feel as if you've somehow stepped back in time on a magical journey that is certain to stay with you for years to come.