Tuesday, April 25, 2017

France, Loire Valley - Château de Cheverny I

The Château de Cheverny is located at Cheverny, in the département of Loir-et-Cher on the Loire Valley in France.
The château cuts an impressive figure against its impeccably landscaped grounds, 
and presents an immaculate picture of symmetry, peace and the aristocratic good life.

This castle is a rare thing within the Loire Valley - a chateau that appears to be untouched by time. 
This could have a lot to do with the fact that it has belonged to the same family, the Huraults, for over six centuries. 

The Cheverny Castle was built by Henri Hurault, Compte de Cheverny, sometime between 1604 and 1635, 
and it’s one of the latest Loire Valley castles to be built.

The 17th century chateau is built in pure Louis XIII Classical style and has a rigid symmetry and a homogeneous style. 
It is made of white Bourré stone (which has the particularity of whitening and hardening with age, 
which gives the southern façade its characteristic whiteness). 
The look is softened by the architect’s use of different roof styles from bell towers to domes. 
It remained unchanged since the building work was completed.

Soon after the construction, it was briefly owned by Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of King Henri II. 
She preferred the more ostentatious Château de Chenonceau and sold the property back to the owner’s son, Philippe Hurault.

Today, the chateau is still owned and inhabited by the descendants of the original builders, and has retained an intimate charm. 
The Hurault family still lives in the castle’s right wing which is not open to the public. 

It was one of the first chateaux to open its doors to the public in 1914. 

The estate served as the inspiration for Captain Haddock’s stately home in the Tintin comics. 
In Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin comic books, it was used as a model for the hot-tempered Captain Haddock’s ancestral home. 
The fictional Château de Moulinsart, or Marlinspike Hall in the English translations, 
is almost an exact replica of the Château de Cheverny. 
The castle houses a permanent Tintin exhibition.

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