Featured image of Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte

Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte- A Magnificent Architectural Gem

LocationMaincy, Melun, France (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byPrivate Owners
Official WebsiteChateau de Vaux le Vicomte
Rooms AvailableYes (Events and Weddings)

Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte is a classical architectural masterpiece located in Maincy, France. Built in the 17th century as the home of Nicolas Fouquet by architect Louis le Vau, architect Andre Le Notre, and painter-decorator Charles Le Brun, this chateau has the influence of mid-17th century Europen architecture. The collaboration of these three legends of that time made this chateau look amazing.

Vaux le Vicomte Chateau and its gardens are open for the public to explore. Throughout the year, different events are organised at the Chateau estate. You can book your tickets for those events or choose the guided tours to discover them.

Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte History

In 1641, the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte estate was purchased by Nicolas Fouquet, an ambitious member of the Paris Parliament. In 1656, he became the superintendent of finances of King Louis XIV and commissioned Le Brun, Le Notre, and Le Vau to renovate the chateau and its gardens. The renovation work was completed between 1658 and 1661. It was one of the lavish, refined, and dazzling estates of that time.

However, just after completing the chateau, Fouquet was arrested and imprisoned for life for the misappropriation of public funds. His position was given to Jean-Baptiste Colbert and the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte was sequestrated. The king seized, purchased, and confiscated the estate’s statues, all orange trees, and 120 tapestries. He also sent a team of artists who worked on the estate before to renovate Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte as Versailles.

Ten years later, Madame Fouquet was able to recover the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte property and stayed there with her eldest son. In 1705, her son and husband died, and she decided to sell the chateau and its gardens. The Marshall Claude Louis Hector de Villars purchased the castle from her; however, in 1764, his son sold it to the Duke of Praslin. He maintained the property for more than a century. The castle was again neglected for years for contradictory reasons. However, in 1875, the chateau was sold to Alfred Sommier in a public auction. He restored and refurbished it completely.

In 1908, after the death of Sommier, Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte and its gardens were maintained by his son and his daughter-in-law, and they looked after further renovation work. Since 1967, Sommier’s great-grandson, Patrice de Vogue, has been the estate owner. And his sons, Alexandre, Jean-Charles, and Ascanio de Vogue, now look after it on his behalf.

Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte Architecture

Gardens at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Gardens at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte”, by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, is licensed under CC BY 4.0

The chateau is built with creamy limestone in the Baroque architectural style. The main compact block is surrounded by a moat and includes an inner forecourt. Its entrance front has a series of recessed planes, two-bay outer pavilions with tall roofs, and two-bay inner pavilions with mansard roofs. The outer forecourt, brick and stone buildings and huge formal gardens are located beyond the moat.

Inside Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte, there are main apartments on the ground floor, the triple archway motif links near the front entrance, the grand staircase, a rectangular hall, and a domed oval salon. The overall interior of the chateau has a noble unity of style, and its furniture and decor give a traditional and luxurious feel. It was entrusted to Le Brun.

The gardens of the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte were the first great work of Andre Le Notre. And they are dominated by a unique oval dome. In France, they are considered the most elegant and geometrically harmonious gardens of all high Baroque gardens. Although the gardens were restored by Henri and Archille Duchene after 1875, it still has the same unique sense. In the gardens, you will find embroidery-like flowerbeds, ornamental ponds, waterfalls, elegant statues, and caves. Their perfectly proportioned and soothing harmony with the central axis attracts many visitors each year.

You can visit Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte via shuttles. Every weekend, two shuttles come to Vaux-le-Vicomte, one from Paris and another from Melun. You can discover the chateau and its gardens by yourself or choose guided tours with a unique theme. While exploring Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte, don’t forget to explore the Carriage Museum, exhibition, seasonal events, and Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte restaurant.

You can also read about the beautiful architecture of Chateau de Valencay!

Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte Facts

  • Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte is France’s largest private estate listed as a Historic Monument.
  • A permanent exhibition is organized at Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte.
  • It is one of the country’s few entirely furnished and decorated Chateaus.
  • The events are organised in this chateau, including Candlelit evenings, water shows, Illumination events, and Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte wedding events, throughout the year.
  • The chateau’s stable block includes the Carriage Museum with rare beautiful antique carriages and related equipment collection.
  • This chateau is just 50km away from Paris and can easily be accessed via car, public transport, or shuttle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Chateau Vaux le Vicomte?

Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte is owned by Vogue. It has been with the family for five generations. In 2012, Alexandre, Jean-Charles, and Ascanio de Vogue took over the family property and wanted to spread the estate’s influence in France. In 2015, their brother Ascanio also joined them.

What happened at Vaux le Vicomte?

Many big events took place at Vaux-le-Vicomte. One of the major ones took place in 1875 when it was auctioned. It was abandoned for decades and was left empty. Later, Alfred Sommier decided to return the chateau to its original condition. Today, his heirs and sons own the castle and look after the management work.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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