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Sunday, 19th May 2024

The Château de Vaux

The domain of Vaux le Vicomte is the fruit of a creative and passionate mind, that of Nicolas Fouquet. To build his home, he enlisted the services of three of the greatest artists of the Grand Siècle: the architect Louis Le Vau, the gardener André Le Nôtre and the painter and decorator Charles Le Brun. Here, they united their genius to build a model whose majesty and balance inspired the whole of Europe for over a century. Vaux le Vicomte boasts the original French formal garden.  This creation is notable for its theatrical majesty, the formal perfection of its patterns and its mastery of perspective, which would later be copied all over Europe.

France, Seine-et-Marne (77), Maincy, le château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (vue aérienne) // France, Seine-et-Marne, Maincy, the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte (aerial view)

The architect Louis Le Vau was already enjoying widespread recognition when Fouquet called on his services in 1653. As Principal Architect of the King, he had already erected many Parisian mansions including the Hôtel Lambert. Considered the greatest ambassador of the Italian style in France, Le Vau also drew inspiration from antiquity. These various sources would enable him to create a powerful new style of his own, starting with le Vicomte; a style that would lay the foundation of French architecture for the century and a half to come. The domain of Vaux le Vicomte is the largest private property in France to be listed as a historic monument. Jean- Charles and Alexandre de Vogué, the two co-managers, pursue a mission of public interest: preserving this unique place and sharing it with present and future generations.

With an annual budget of 9 million euros, the institution that is the Château de Vaux le Vicomte now shares its passion for history with 300 000 visitors every year, bringing the Grand Siècle back to life before their very eyes. Public admission to the site and a varied programme of cultural events are the essential pillars of this process. Today, individuals and businesses work, to help preserve this masterpiece.

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