Monday, November 18, 2013

Cheverny Chateau

Cheverny Chateau
Cheverny chateau is one of the most popular in the Loire River Valley.  It is not the biggest and it does not sit beside a lovely river.  However it has more charm than the others.  The small village of Cheverny is centered around this wonderful Castle.  There is a parking lot at the entrance to the town.  Walking 2 blocks through the lovely street leads to the entrance of Cheverny. 

You have an option of seeing the castle alone or also attending the Tintin museum.  I was traveling with my children and we decided to see the museum and the castle together.  We arrived around 4 clock in the afternoon.  It is good to time your arrival late in the afternoon because of another event that is free: the feeding of the dogs.  This is also called "La Soupe des Chiens" in French.  More about that later.

The Tintin museum is a very nice, clean museum that celebrates this wonderful comic book character.  Many of his books and other trinkets are available in the gift shop as well.  It's a fun stop especially if you have children.
Wandering through the Tintin museum

The feeding of the dogs is very exciting.  This happens every day at 5 o'clock.  There is no admission or tickets required for this.  Inside the grounds, next to the exit from the Tintin museum, is the dog kennel.  We arrived about 20 minutes before the event.  The dogs were standing around waiting.  About 15 minutes before 5 o'clock, the dog trainer had them all go into one area and closed the gate.  He then proceeded to bring in a wheel barrel full of chicken parts.  He spread them out in a long line.  Then he poured out pellets of dog food on top of the chicken meat/parts.  This did not smell very good.  However the dogs were barking, howling and clearly became excited.  They must be hungry.
Hunting Dogs browsing before Dinner

Then the dog trainer has the dogs come into the area where the food is located.  However he has a lash/whip that he keeps moving back and forth to keep the dogs away until they are all ready to eat.  At that moment he stops the movement of the lash, says a word and chaos breaks loose.  The dogs jump all over each other in order to get to the chicken.  They eat as fast as possible.  It is amazing to see.

Dog Trainer keeps the dogs from eating too soon
Cheverny Dog Feeding
After that spectacle, we entered the formal château.  The furniture in rooms are decorated so beautifully that one cannot help but be impressed.  The rooms are like they were several hundred years ago.  Someone could actually live there because every detail is accounted for.  Besides bedrooms and a beautiful kitchen with china, there is also a room for armor, a playroom for children and a library.

The staff were particularly kind.  I would certainly recommend a visit to this wonderful château if you are visiting the Loire area. 

Lovely French Garden
Modern Wedding Dress in an ancient room
Different View of the Chateau

Armor Room
Old French Clock

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