VAUX LE VICOMTE TOUR | HALF DAY TRIP FROM PARIS
Enjoy a memorable private tour of the castle of Vaux le Vicomte for a half day trip. Meet your driver-guide at the lobby of your hotel or in front of your apartment address either in the morning or in the afternoon as you prefer.
Vaux le Vicomte castle located in Maincy 55 km (34 miles) one hour away south east of Paris. Learn about the incredible story that took place there and which became very famous in French history. In 1641 Nicolas Fouquet the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV gives the order to demolish three villages and buys the estate; he is only 26 years old. The baroque chateau of Vaux le Vicomte is being built between 1658 and 1661 (in less than four years) thanks to the inheritance money of his deceased wife. Three great artists are commissioned to worked together: the architect Le Vau, the painter-decorator Le Brun and the landscape architect/garden designer Le Nôtre will join their talents for the first time on a large scale to achieve the castle of Vaux le Vicomte.
The Vaux le Vicomte chateau is a real architectural masterpiece and without a doubt the most influential work baroque Chateau which later inspired Louis the XIVth to build his own castle in Versailles. For a period of ten years under Fouquet's protection, Vaux was also a haven for leading French artists. Writers, poets, painters, and sculptors gave the best of their talents to the glory of Vaux.
Vaux will stay in French history for being the tragic setting for the downfall of Fouquet, especially after the grand party organized on the evening of August 17th, 1661. The faithful minister invited the 23 year old King Louis XIV and his mother the Queen Anne of Austria with the intention to flatter them along with 600 guests and courtisans. Moliere and Lully offer a great show to the invited audience, one of the most delicious dinners prepared by chef Vattel is served on silver and gold plates, an amazing firework show is given at the end of the evening to the guests in awe. Everyone leaves the place impressed, Louis XIVth is furious and jealous of such magnificence and exposed wealth. Fouquet will pay a hefty price for this: D’Artagnan the King’s chief of the Musketeers, will arrest him not even three weeks after the party, and as a result, Fouquet gets life imprisonment and is deprived of all his goods. 120 tapestries, the statues, and even all the orange trees are seized for the King of France. Was Fouquet accused of an embezzlement he did not commit, victim of the jealousy of King Louis XIV and the manipulations of Colbert, one of his worst enemy? Did Fouquet go a little too far in bestowing lavish hospitality on his guests or did he simply steal blindly from the King? Fouquet’s motto was “Quo non Ascendam?” which would translate to “To what may he not ascend?” On August 17th, at six in the evening Fouquet was the King of France: at two in the morning he was nobody.” This quote by Voltaire sums the evening of 17 August in 1661 perfectly up.
During this Vaux le Vicomte private tour, your passionate guide will show you (among others) the following rooms:
- The Muse’s bedchamber, Fouquet’s formal stateroom, known for its paintings by Charles le Brun, at the origin of the dawn of the first Versailles style, inspired by Italian mannerism. This is also where Moliere, the great playwright and actor played The School for Husbands, in the presence the members of the Royal Family.
- The Games Room where you will recognize Fouquet’s coat of arms and emblem and Le Brun’s ceiling painting “Le Sommeil”.
- the Grand Salon, The King’s Salon where you will be able to admire “furniture jeweller” Andre-Charles Boulle’s desks and commode,
- The Hercules Antichamber
- The dining room and its stunning coffered ceiling
- The King’s room (it was a tradition to create such a room when the royal court was itinerant) actually Louis XIV never slept there
- If time permits, you will also be able to enjoy the view of the vast gardens planned with geometric order, the stone work of the stairs and the grottos, the Hercules statue and the crown fountain.
When you book a tour with us, we guarantee the following:
- Pick up and drop off in Paris
- Private transportation in a luxury air conditioned van
- Private guided tours with licensed experts
- Entrance tickets for the castle
What is not included in this tour:
- Meal & personal expenses
- Gratuities (discretionary)
This tour available every day from April 1st until October 30th
The duration of this tour is 5 hours from pick up to drop off at your accommodation in Paris and includes a private transportation in a luxury air conditioned van, skip the line admissions and a guided tour given by an expert licensed tour guide fluent in your language Pick up time : 9:00am or 2:00pm
As a reminder, we only give private guided tours of Vaux le Vicomte, we do not give shared/semi-private tours and do not arrange any pick up outside of Paris for this specific tour.
Please contact us before booking to make sure we have the availability, if you have questions about tours please call us at +33 624 892 41