Cheverny is of course renowned for its castle, the Chateau de Cheverny.
Cheverny is in the Loir et Cher department and is about a dozen kilometres south of Blois.
The Chateau de Cheverny is the main attraction but the village of Cheverny, like most in the Loire Valley is an attractive village with smart stone houses and grey slate roofs. It is on the other side of the main road to the chateau and in the village is a very ancient church, dating back to 1145 - a very beautiful and distinctive church with its pointed bell-tower.
There is also a salt barn, an ancient forge and an ancient lavoir to discover as you explore the village.
The Chateau of Cheverny was one of our favourite in our tour around the Loire Valley. It has a simple classical style and is set in beautiful gardens and has a lovely cafe and tea room in the orangery. It had some of the best preserved interiors of all those we visited.
The Chateau of Cheverny was the inspiration for Marlinspike Hall in Hergé's famous Tintin books. To celebrate the link there is a Tintin museum in one of the castle buildings.
The castle also has a famous pack of hunting dogs and you can visit the kennels which is home to the hundred plus hounds. If you visit at 11.30 you may be able to watch feeding time.
As well as the chateau the city of Cheverny owes its fame to its production of wines of high quality and international reputation. The vineyards of Cheverny produce the famous white wine ‘Sauvignon’ and ‘Cabernet’, and the red wines such as the ‘Gamay’, ‘Pinot Noir’, ‘Malbec’ and ‘Pineau d'Aunis’. There are also the associated wines produced by the Cour Cheverny, including the famous white wine ‘Romorantin’. All are wines are excellent with regional dishes such as ‘puff pastry with asparagus’, preferably followed by a good dessert.
History of Cheverny, Loire Valley
The area where Cheverny and its castle are found was inhabited in very ancient times, and we know that at the time of Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) it belonged to the Carnutes. The name of the site is also certainly of Roman origin.
Cheverny and all of its territory followed the same history as Blois, passing under the domination of French feudal lords such as King Pepin of Aquitaine (797-838) right up to the House of Capet, ending finally under the direct control of the French crown.
Not far away is perhaps the most famous of all the Loire Valley chateaux, the Chateau de Chambord. This is a colossal castle with an incredible array of ornate chimney pots that you can walk around and a very extravagent exterior.
The Chateau de Chaumont is host to the International Garden Festival of Chaumont and has a number of permanent show gardens.