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This 17th century masterpiece combines the genius of three highly talented artists brought together by Nicolas Fouquet: the architect, Louis Le Vau, the decorator, Charles Le Brun, and the landscape architect André Le Nôtre. On August 17 1661, the superintendent of the Royal Finances held a dazzling celebration to inaugurate his new château at Vaux le Vicomte.

The entire royal court went to Vaux for this inauguration, the wealth and ostentation of which annoyed Louis XIV greatly.

Voltaire later summarised the legendary festivities: On August 17th at 6pm, Fouquet was “King of France”, by 2am, he was a nobody… The Sun King decided, after this brilliant - too brilliant - display, to have Fouquet clapped in prison, imprisoned until his death in 1680.

However, the disgrace of their protector opened new horizons for Le Brun, Le Vau and Le Nôtre. Louis XIV commissioned them to build his new palace: Versailles.

In 1705, the estate was sold to Marshal Villars, and then entered the Choiseul-Prasin family. The destiny of Nicolas Fouquet and the successive owners are mentioned along the visit.
Curiosities, sites of interest in seine-et-marne: castles, gardens, museums, sports
Curiosities, sightseeing in Seine-et-Marne, 77: castles, museums, hotels
Curiosities, sites of interest in seine-et-marne: castles, gardens, museums, sports

Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of the rare castle which can be visited throughout, from the cellars and kitchens to the roofs and domes from which visitors have an outstanding view over the estate.

The garden, held to be the first French-style garden designed by Le Nôtre, with a perfect layout of knot gardens, statues, basins, grottoes and perspectives. Additional information can be found in the permanent exhibition in the château basement which includes an interactive model.

In the château commons, the Carriage Museum has a rare collection of carriages with recreated scenes depicting their various histories.

Candlelit visits are available on Saturdays from May to October and on Fridays in July and August.

The estate hosts a large number of events throughout the year.

Pratical information, click here


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