Architectural Details: Château de Cheverny in the Loire Valley
From its perfectly balanced facades to the details of its lavish interior, the Château de Cheverny embodies French Classical style. It is in the middle of a majestic botanical park, with an estate that is a delightful blend of peace and tranquillity. This lordly property has belonged to the same family for over six centuries, and is now looked after with loving care by the current generation, the Marquis and Marquise of Vibraye.
Built by the architect Jacques Bougier between 1620 and 1640, the Château de Cheverny was a forerunner of the French style that developed during the reign of Louis XIV. Simplicity and symmetry were the key goals, and he built an edifice composed of a central building with two residential wings on either side and corner pavilions. The château’s light-coloured facade is created by the Bourré stone used to build it, which becomes lighter in colour and hardens over time. Much to our delight, the château hasn’t been modified since the 17th century, and retains its original architectural design.
The park and gardens are home to one of the Estate’s most interesting features: the kennels. Cheverny maintains the tradition of hunting with hounds and raises 100 or so French Poitevin and English Foxhound crossbreed dogs for this purpose. These lavish grounds have played host to heads of state (including French President Emmanuel Macron), celebrities and some of the most well-heeled members of society.
We find the relationship between the residence and the land plan to be one of the most masterful aspects of the estate. Easily seen from above, the central walkway is on axis with the front door, leading out to the rear gardens. Running perfectly perpendicular to this central axis is the orientation of the home itself, with both residential wings flanking the center of the home. Classical symmetry, luxurious interior appointments and immaculate grounds make Château de Cheverny one of our favorite sources of European architectural inspiration.