Cheverny shines by the sophistication of its charming decor. You will see: paintings by the masters, tapestries by the Paris workshops, 17th century Flanders tapestries, a remarkable Louis 15th clock, a rare Louis 14th chest of drawers, the kings bed, and a thousand other jewels... Also, the Chateau is known for its hunting hounds. Only for visitors to the Chateau: Permanent exhibit dedicated to Tintin, "The Secrets of Moulinsart". Moulinsart was inspired by Cheverny. Thanks to this exhibit, Tintin, Haddock and Professeur Tournesol relive the events that took place around this mythic chateau.
The present Chateau de Cheverny is an original jewel among the more famous monuments that stretch along the Loire Valley. In fact, Renaissance style did not find its place in Cheverny, which is built in the purest Louis XIII classical style, distinguished by an extraordinarily symmetrical architecture. Cheverny, which was built in the first part of the 17th Century, is a prime example of this style. Its delicate features also stand out through the perfect whiteness of the stones, from the Bourré quarries in the Cher Valley. This particular stone not only comes out white, but also becomes harder with time. However, this almost rigid architectural layout also has its contrasts, such as the variety of roofing styles, from domes, to bell-towers and other French-style roofs.
The building work was put under the direction of an architect, master-mason and sculptor, Jacques Bougier, who was very well-known in his time. He also worked on a wing of the nearby Chateau de Blois. His work on a royal castle shows Cheverny's desire for quality. Unfortunately, Bougier died before completing his work. Cheverny's main staircase is the work of an unknown craftsman who simply left his initials and a date on the ground floor: FL 1634. The Chateau de Cheverny is perfectly preserved as it was built all at once. Nothing has been changed.
The beautiful interior design of the castle is the work of Jean Monier, from nearby Blois. He was supported by Marie de Medici who sent him to Italy to perfect his talent. Upon his return to France, Marie de Medici employed him at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. He then returned to his home town of Blois as a successful artisan, when he was asked to work wonders at Cheverny.
In Cheverny, Jean Monier is more famous for his interior design than for his paintings. Thirty-four painted wood panels around the walls of the dining room depict the story of Don Quixote (the hero of the Cervantes novel). On the first floor, the King's Chamber displays a particularly sumptuous design; the coffered ceiling shows scenes from the myth of Perseus and Andromeda and the panels depict the legend of Theagenes and Chariclea.
The Arms Room gives a more subdued feel than the King's Chamber, with perhaps the exception of the magnificent fireplace. Following the example of the fireplace in the King's Chamber, its patterns have been painted and restored with gold-leaf such as the two lovers who seem to be holding one of Jean Monier's rare canvas paintings entitled "the death of Adonis."
The Chateau de Cheverny has always been occupied and subsequent generations have always had a refined taste. This certainly explains the presence of many different items of furniture from different periods which have been kept in impeccable condition
Amongst many other items, the Louis XIV chest of drawers with Boulle marquetry in the Tapestry Room is worth a mention, just as the clock decorated with bronze engravings from the Louis XV period. This exceptional piece was designed to give the correct time and was used to set the other clocks in the castle. It is also difficult not to stop to admire the fabulous tapestry from the Manufacture des Gobelins (which has never been restored) in pride of place in the Arms Room. Lastly, let us not forget the wonderful canopied bed with Persian embroidery in which King Henri IV of France slept.