Château de Chéverny: Guide and history (Loire Valley)

Get the guide to the elegant Château de Chéverny, a privately-owned castle in the Loire Valley. Learn about its history, what there is to see inside, and much more.
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The Château de Chéverny is one of those classical French châteaux that one can imagine living in. If one was a chatelaine, of course. It is a large elegant château that is still a private residence and as such has been updated with things like plumbing and heating.

Located in the countryside, the Château is luxuriously decorated and built to entertain. Over the years, it has multiplied the number of attractions inside the château grounds to attract visitors and stand out amongst the numerous beautiful châteaux in the Loire valley (of which there are plenty!)

So let’s explore how the Château de Chéverny came to be and what to see inside, shall we? Allons-y!

History

The original castle that existed on the grounds of Chéverny dated back to the 14th century and belonged to the Counts of Blois.

The lands were purchased in 1510 by Henri Hurault, Comte de Cheverny, the military treasurer for King Louis XIII. His descendant, the Marquis de Vibraye, is the present owner, however the family did have some twists and turns in order to get it back.

Armour and uniforms at Château de Cheverny
Armour and uniforms at Château de Cheverny

In 1537, the château was taken from the family due to fraud and bankruptcy, when the widow of the Comte was left alone with 7 children.

The property became part of the Crown, and King Henri II decided to give it to his favorite mistress Diane de Poitiers in 1551. However, she had also received the Château de Chenonceau from King Henri and preferred that one instead, since it was on the Cher river.

Woman's dress at Chéverny
Woman’s dress at Chéverny

In either case, Diane de Poitiers had to give the property back to the former owner’s son, Philippe Hurault, as the château had been taken from Hurault family when he was still underage.

Philippe’s son Henri would undertake grand revovations, building the château’s new wings and interior between 1624 and 1630. Much of the Renaissance-style that you see at the château today comes from this period.

During the French Revolution, the family was forced to sell the property in 1802, but bought it back again in 1824 during the Bourbon Restoration under Charles X. The Hurault family continues to live at the château, although most days the château today is filled with visitors and tourists.

The Loire Valley châteaux like Chéverny are officially recognized on the UNESCO world heritage list.

Inside the Château

The inside of the Château de Chéverny is a feast for the eyes. The downstairs has several reception rooms and a dining room that is sumptuously decorated from floor to ceiling.

Dining hall at Chévery

There is also a large salon that has various pieces of armor and weapons dating back to the Middle ages and the Renaissance periods. If you are a fan of lego, you will also see a couple of life-size displays of lego reproducing famous paintings.

Upstairs, there are several bedrooms that are set up to display “château life” for nobility as it would have been in the 19th century. Along with a couple of children’s bedrooms, there is even a room set up as a bridal suite, complete with bridal gown and flowers ready for the bride.

Bridal suite at Chéverny
Bridal suite at Chéverny

Each room inside the château is elaborately set up. Keep a look out for the large mechanical dog who moves indolently in the study.

The Gardens

The Château de Chéverny is surrounded by a large property that is dotted with different areas and gardens.

There is a “jardin d’amour” meaning “love garden”, a labyrinth, the apprentice gardens, tulip gardens, beehives, vineyards, hunting dog kennels, and a whole lot more. Indeed, you will likely spend more time in the gardens than in the château itself as there is quite a bit to explore.

fountain at chéverny

There is a special exhibition for the comic book character Tintin who featured the Château de Chéverny in its comic books and stories. The Belgian comic book creator Hergé used Cheverny as a model for his fictional “Château de Moulinsart” (Marlinspike Hall in English) in the Adventures of Tintin books.

In the books, the central tower and two wings are almost identical, but the outermost wings are not present. To accompany the Tintin exhibition, there are also a couple of gift shops, one for Tintin paraphernalia while the other is for château-related items.

There is also a large café in the Orangerie in the gardens which serves lunch and tea snacks. It can hold events like weddings for special occasions. Depending on the season you visit, there are also events held all over the château for holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.

Reception room with golden harp

Frequently asked questions

How to get there?

There are also various tour options leaving from Paris, which will have you there and back in style. The Loire is one of the big French wine regions, so certain tours combine wine-tasting and sightseeing. You can see the tour options to Château de Chéverny here.

Where to stay?

The Château de Chéverny is located about 20 minutes from the city of Blois, where there are several wonderful hotels. You can also choose to stay in Amboise which is a little further away. Some recommended hotels are:

In Blois:

In Amboise:

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If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about traveling around the Loire Valley. A bientôt!

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