A day trip to Vaux-le-Vicomte
Vaux-le-Vicomte is located in Maincy, a town in the Seine et Marne department (77) about 30 miles from the center of Paris. The trip should take just under an hour in your private chauffeured car.
Just like the Palace of Versailles, a visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte is not to be missed. The estate’s architectural style, interior design and formal French gardens were undoubtedly a huge influence on the major artists of the 17th and 18th centuries. The castle is surrounded by a glorious garden laid out along a central axis over 2 miles long. The views are stunning and offer a truly memorable experience.
History of Vaux-le-Vicomte castle
The castle was built between 1658 and 1661 by Nicolas Fouquet, who was the superintendent of finances to Louis XIV, the Sun King. Vaux-le-Vicomte castle is a masterpiece of 17th century architecture and owes its splendor to the genius of three men : the landscape gardener Le Nôtre, the architect Louis Le Vau, and the talented interior designer Charles Le Brun. The estate’s park is without doubt the most exquisite formal French garden in existence.
On the day of its inauguration, August 17 1661, the castle’s flamboyancy made the King so jealous that he was not owner of this marvel, that he ordered the immediate arrest of Fouquet, who was condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison. Naturally King Louis XIV then appointed Le Brun, le Vau, and Le Nôtre to build the Palace of Versailles.
From then on, Vaux-le-Vicomte was acquired by various personalities including the military commander Marshal de Villard, the Duke of Praslin and lastly, in 1875, by a discerning art enthusiast named Alfred Sommier, whose direct descendants (the Vogüé family) still own the castle today.
The Carriage Museum
After your tour of the castle and grounds you may wish to visit the carriage museum, a magnificent collection of antique coaches, carriages and harnessed horses which is housed in the castle’s stables. A true step back in time…