Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte – a masterpiece by Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun and André Le Nôtre.
The splendour of this 17th century architectural gem provided inspiration for the construction of the Château of Versailles. Built for Nicolas Fouquet, Superintendent of Finances of Louis XIV, the château is a remarkably preserved example of the genius of three great artists of the period : the architect Louis Le Vau, decorator Charles Le Brun and landscape gardener André Le Nôtre.
The garden ‘à la Française’ is perfect for strolling around. Majestically laid out along a 4km long axis, the château gradually appears like a theatre decor centrestage where one’s gaze is channelled by the walls of the outbuildings which line the forecourt. Without forming an obstacle, from either side of the façade the château allows glimpses of the gardens which stretch far beyond following the natural slope of the grounds tidily contained by vast terraces.
The main axis reigns at the centre of the skilfully balanced composition. Using a transparency effect, it runs through the château via the Vestibule and Grand Salon allowing the statue of Hercules 2km south to be seen from the road.
Visiting Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
What to do at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte?
The largest privately-owned building in France, the château has retained its atmosphere of a home, welcoming each visitor like a benevolent host. It is the ideal place for a memorable family day especially as costumes for children (musketeer or princess) can be hired so they can launch themselves into 17th century life ! An activity booklet- puzzle book is given to every child with an admission ticket. 4-seater electric carts can be hired to explore the estate without getting tired, much to the delight of children…and grown ups too ! Guided tours in period costume on the theme of children in the 17th century are a really fun way to discover what life was like in the lap of luxury at that time !
For more than a touch of romance, visit the château by candlelight. Every Saturday evening in summer around 2,000 candles light the state rooms and garden walkways for a unique, intimate and oh so romantic visit. Throughout the year, different events are held to discover the estate in a different manner : At Easter a giant Easter egg hunt in the gardens ; Les Jeux d’eau – the 2nd and last Saturday of every month between 15.00 and 18.00 all the fountains in the grounds are switched on for a unique experience ; Journée Grand Siècle – take a trip back in time to the court of the 17th century wearing period dress; - Vaux-le-Vicomte fait son cinéma – a look behind the scenes of some of the best-known films and series made at the château ; Christmas – a thousand and one decorations and illuminations transport visitors to a marvellous, magical world.
Explore Seine-et-Marne with Gites de France Seine-et-Marne : Château de Blandy-Les-Tours, Disneyland Paris, Forêt de Fontainebleau, medieval town of Provins"