fit for a king

by Kasia on October 15, 2013

A few weeks ago a dear family friend was in town. Since she’s already seen much of Paris, I planned a day of historic elegance in a landscape not too far away. We boarded a bus on an overcast morning, and soon arrived to the legendary, and now private estate, Château de Vaux le Vicomte.

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Here began our adventure into the life of Nicolas Fouquet, who created this 17th century castle.

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This majestic masterpiece was a collaboration between architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre. A ‘home and garden’ to be admired by all.

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Yet the story behind Monsieur Fouquet and his château is a unique and tragic one.

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In brief, after throwing a lavish party in his new home, Fouquet was arrested by Louis XIV (who had plotted against him out of jealousy), and spent his remaining days behind bars, unlawfully so.

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In the famous words of Voltaire, “On 17 August at 6 in the evening, Fouquet was King of France; at 2 in the morning, he was nobody”.

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As we wandered the château and landscape, the gray sky set a sobering mood. At once in awe and aghast at the history lesson upon us. Certainly a castle fit for a king, perhaps even too much so.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle October 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I recently visited too and I think this is my favorite castle is Île de France. The story of its owner is disturbing, but gosh, how it’s stunning.

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Bellanda October 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Great post, Kasia! This is one of our favorite places. Not only is it gorgeous & historic, they have a lot of special activities throughout the year that are well worth the visit. We go several times a year. We’ll have to get together and rent their costumes for their old fashioned picnic day just before summer. We’ve been wanting to do that the last few years, but haven’t been able to… we should get a group together. That would be fun!
Their Palace of chocolate is fabulous…
It will be taking place November 9, 10 and 11. They have creative workshops, tastings and demonstrations for adults and children. Our kids loved it, as did we!

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Andi October 20, 2013 at 3:16 am

Mr. Misadventures and I have been here and loved it!

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