Loire Chateaux: Cheverny

| October 16, 2011
loire chateaux: cheverny

Château de Cheverny

Loire Chateaux Series: Cheverny and its beautiful interior

As I mentioned in my prior post about the Château de Chambord, each of the Loire chateaux has its own style and sense of purpose. While Chambord amazed with its size and architectural prowess, Château de Cheverny pleases with its lavishly appointed and meticulously maintained interiors. Not that the château itself is anything to sneeze at mind you. The hunting palace was was built and decorated from 1604 to 1634 and, from its very beginning, the château has always been in the Hurrault family. Don’t be surprised to see family photos in the château because the family still lives on the third floor!

I had to shoot this château in marginal conditions. As you can see, the sun was directly overhead, which made the shadows very short and the light harsh. It is always dilemma trying to shoot for my photography business while on vacation. Although Donna is very patient with me as I shoot everything under the sun, I like to sensitive to her and the purpose of the trip. This means sometimes I have to take what I can get. In this case I knew the light would be pretty flat on château so I looked for other ways to liven up the picture. The gardens out back were perfect, as they added visual interest to the scene and lead the eye to the château as the primary subject. Since the château was in shadow, I pushed the exposure compensation up one stop and shot an extra handheld photo in place to make sure I had good, well exposed, detail of the châteaus exterior. Once home, I aligned the two shots in Photoshop and used a layer mask to bring in the brighter exposure of the château exterior. It’s not cheating, just practical when the camera is not able to get all the necessary detail in a single exposure.

loire chateaux: cheverny village

The village just outside Château de Cheverny

The Château de Cheverny comes complete with a quaint village that is not overdone with tourist kitsch. All the Loire chateaux has a convenient parking area withing walking distance to the main attraction. Remember not to leave anything of value viable in your car. There are plenty of warnings about potential break-ins but we had no issues and we parked at a lot of locations. Just use common sense and you will do fine. Driving to each of the châteaus is very pleasant. With the help of our Garmin, we found everything with ease and enjoyed the picturesque French countryside along the way.

loire chateaux: cheverny interior

The stunning interior at Château de Cheverny

The photo above give you an idea of the quality of the interior of the château. From the private apartments to the stunning dining room with its decorated ceilings, the château is a remarkable window into the past.

loire chateaux: cheverny

The main entrance at Château de Cheverny

If you click the picture above to see the detail, you will notice the row of Roman emperors between the windows. Julius Caesar is in the center above all the rest. You can see the exterior is in remarkably good condition and is surrounded by nicely manicured grounds. The Mona Lisa as well as other treasures of the Louvre were hidden safely here during World War II. Oh, and the château was conveniently spared during the French Revolution too!

loire chateaux: cheverny decoration

Interior column decoration at Château de Cheverny

I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek into the Château de Cheverny. I have a few more châteaus to cover that we saw while visiting France including Amboise, Villandry, Chinon and Azay le Rideau. I will post them as I have time to work on the photos!

Other Chateaux in this series

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Category: France, Photography, Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. These shots are fantastic Lee – gorgeous looking clouds certainly help the overall aesthetics of the photos!

  2. A.Barlow says:

    Wow that place looks awesome! You did a nice job with these shots. Grats.

  3. ConservativelyBohemian says:

    Just stunningly beautiful! If I could afford a place like this, and the staff, oh what a glorious place to live! Can’t even imagine it, but those helix staircases are gorgeous!