Cheverny, Loire and Tintin’s Moulinsart

Another fairy tale castle in the valley of the kings or Loire river valley.  It is very interesting because its original furniture, and the connection to one of the all time best cartoonist in Europe Hergé and the character Tintin, which used this castle as the series castle Moulinsart. The whole family will enjoy it.

It is located in the department of Loir et Cher No 41 in the region Centre, dans the forest abounding the Sologne. You can come by train to Blois ,either a special bus during the summer months or a taxi it is very close from Paris Austerlitz or Montparnasse stations. Of course the best in the region is the car, from Paris on the A10 then exit Blois and follow direction Cheverny on the road D765. 

It is still a private castle with a history going back to 1500, the current owner is the Marquis de Vibraye same family from 1825. The castle was open to the public in 1922.  Really the best and only thing to see here but its worth every minute of it, I assure you.

To give you a visual tour at the Chateau de Cheverny, you begin by looking at the exterior architecture, especially the rear part going into the gardens, style Louis XIII. However, the front of the castle is what inspired Hergé for his Chateau de Moulinsart fame in the Tintin series, it is all in sculpture stone construction as it is Chambord,Chenonceau,and Blois. Decorated with Roman busts with an antique look on them; the interior plans are inspired by those of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris. Here then are the gardens a la Française or French garden style; you have the Orangerie of 18C construction for conventions and meetings now but during WWII it housed/hided  many objects of arts such as the Mona Lisa painting now at the Louvre. You go in the Park or parc, it is an ocean of lawns all over perfectly kept linking it with the garden a la Anglaise or English style planted with huge trees.  Here you past by the dogs cages or Chenils  as the castle is one of the high points of hunting, you can see the dogs wonderful,and see the feeding of them, great!  You move on to the Potager, in front of the hunting room with fruits, wine grapes,and vegetables;lovely. And dont forget the Communs, this  is by the entrance to the castle and house the administration but there are from the Renaissance period.

I like to get you inside the castle! You go in by the Salle à Manger or dining room, from the 19C now but decoration of the 17C, with leather ceilings! and a bust of king Henri IV, you see on the wall Cervantes Don Quijotes with very impressive arms of the family,and a dining table for 30 seatings. Then you take the stairs, or l’Escalier d’Honneur, with a renaissance influence richly decorated in white stone and style Louis XIII, and hunting heads in wood. Going up to the appartements Privés or private apartments, that were occupied as little back as 1985. Here you have the Chambre jaune or birth bedroom, then the Petit Boudoir Rouge, small ladies room, Chambre d’enfants with the first horse models of the Napoleon III era as well as portraits of the owner family. The chambre des Mariés with the wedding clothing of the current owners including a bathtub of the 19C, the Salle à manger familiale is the place where the family ate and decorated as if it is waiting for guests; and the Petit Salon, with miniature potraits of the owner family in a glass cabinet.

The visit is follow into the Salle d’Armes ,the biggest in the castle with decoration of origin from the 17C, a great wooden chimney and tapestries of Gobelins of the 17C showing events of the war of Troy in Greece. It has a collection of weapons from the 15C to 17C, lots of swords, arquebuses, and vaults of travels from the 17C. It has a covering thread in leather of Cordoba with the arms of France and Navarra that once belongs to king Henri IV and weights 70 kg (about 154 pounds). You go into the Chambre du Roi or king bedroom, a luxurious room! with decoration of the greatest adventures of romance, painting of Persia and Andromeda, 30 scenes of the tragic loves of Théagéne and Chariclée (French names sorry). 6 tapestries from the 17C with work of Ulyses hero of Odyssée. A huge bed of 2 meters by 1,60 meters ( 6.60x 5.3 ft) and chairs from Louis XIII, and sofas of Louis XIV with tapestries of Aubusson. You go to the small Vestibule with a nice Flanders tapestry of the 17C to go into the Grand Salon, the work of the owner for over 150 years with the best collection in the castle, portraits of the family, including the parents of Henri IV as well as the folks link to the castle such as Louis XII and queen Anne of Austria etc. Painting of Ferdinand I brother and successor of emperor Charles V, the furniture from the 17C and 18C and other wonders of the time to see, its just overpowering.

You continue the visit of the castle into the Galerie, many paintings of the family from great masters of the 17C and an original document signed by General George Washington USA, talking about one of the ancestors of the current owner that fought alongside Lafayette and Rochambeau during the war of Independance of the United States! Great history indeed. You go thru the Petit Salon, more family portraits alongside a chimney as well as period furniture.  This takes you to the Library or Bibliothéque with over 2000 ancient books done in different leathers with furniture from the Premier Empire and office desk signed by Jacob, the purveyor of them to Napoleon Ier.  You come now to the end into the Salon des Tapisseries, with 5 tapestries of Flanders from the 17C huge tapestries! with different motifs as well as furniture from Louis XIV and Louis XV, and a huge clock from the 18C still marking time as hours,minutes,seconds, day, date, and phases of the moon. Wonderful indeed all of it.

By the entrance to the right past the dogs cages and Salle des Trophées of hunting leyends you have an exbition of  Tintin and its Chateau de Moulinsart with many of the cartoons shown in his books and movies. Great for the whole family and my kids enjoyed tremendously as they are all fans of Tintin, the way they learn French ::)

The official webpage for the castle and properties is at http://www.chateau-cheverny.com/  and the space Tintin in French, http://www.chateau-cheverny.com/fr_tintin.php 

We were on our way to Blois so no stay here , its a small village with some you can be base at Blois if with a car or with plenty of time. We did had our pizzas and drink very nice by the church in town at Pinocchio, webpage http://www.lepinocchio.fr/

Enjoy Cheverny another Loire beauty. Some photos without given it all away

2 Comments to “Cheverny, Loire and Tintin’s Moulinsart”

  1. Hello, just wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post. It was inspiring.
    Keep on posting!

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