The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, the 17th century masterpiece by the architect Le Vau, the decorative-painter Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener Le Nôtre, will re-open to the public on Saturday, March 17th, launching a year of celebrating its 50th anniversary of opening to the public.
On March 30, 1968, Patrice de Vogüé decided to open the gates of Vaux-le-Vicomte, his home, to visitors: “Everybody is invited to Vaux, not to a pompous and cold residence, but to my wife’s home, M. Alfred Sommier’s home, the Duc de Choiseul’s home, Superintendent Fouquet’s home….”. Half a century later, the current owners continue their father’s work: outreach by the château to ensure the preservation and restoration of this exceptional heritage.
Today, this, the largest private property classified as a historic Monument in France continues its tradition of being open to the widest possible public. Throughout the year, Vaux-le-Vicomte will celebrate this special anniversary, sharing its history, behind-the-scenes events and anecdotes with the public.
Vaux-le-Vicomte celebrates Easter – March 31 & April 1 & 2
This year, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte invited every child, outfitted with a chef’s toque, to participate in a giant treasure hunt, ending in an Egg hunt! Numerous activities and workshops were offered to our future chefs, as well as an Easter exhibition inside the château. For our 50th anniversary of opening to the public, the younger generations of the owners’ families were on hand to meet the visitors while participating in games in the gardens!
Candlelit evenings – Every Saturday evening from May 5 to October 6
Every Saturday evening from May 5 to October 6, visitors will experience the 17th century château and its jardins à la française by the flickering lights of 2,000 candles. An elegant dinner, a champagne bar and macaroons will complete a perfect, romantic evening. To complete this magical moment, marvelous fireworks with a giant ‘50’ will be set off at the end of each evening. Learn more!
The Grand Siècle Day – Sunday 3, June, 2018
Visitors in period costumes – or simply spectators – were invited on a journey through time, back to the 17th century at the court of the Sun King. Baroque dancers, musketeer shows and carriage rides offered a perfect overview of French art de vivre.
New this year: winners of the Best Costume contest were invited to take part in tableaux vivants: grouped in giant frames portrayed famous people or scenes—creating veritable living paintings! To commemorate its 50th anniversary of opening to visitors, the château continued its tradition of sharing, inviting all visitors to vote for their favorite costume!
ENTERTAINMENT BY JEAN DE LA FONTAINE
The Styx, river of the underworld
From April 14 to November 5: every weekend and bank holiday + French C zone holidays (except Summer holidays)
Presenting an exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text “The Love of Cupid and Psyche”. Equipped with headlamps and thigh boots, you will be guided along the Styx, river of the classical underworld, participating in a series of agility and logic tests. An unprecedented and intenseadventure brought to life by professional actors! Learn more!
Vaux-le-Vicomte at the movies – from end of September to November 4
Vaux-le-Vicomte invites you to explore behind the scenes of the best-known films and movies shot at the château. Visitors will have the opportunity of seeing special exhibitions and projections of important scenes as well as discovering techniques practiced by professionals of the silver screen through new activities and exhibitions. To celebrate the 50 years of opening to the public, the estate will also offer a retrospective of the movies shot in the château in 1968, featuring one of Orson Welles’s first color films!
Vaux-le-Vicomte celebrates Christmas – From November 24, 2018, onwards
Children have always been entranced by the toys they find under the Christmas tree. The château invites you to reconnect with the magic of your childhood Christmases through a story told by toys! Rediscover your cherished Christmas memories in the beautifully decorated 17th century salons. New decorations in lights and activities will dazzle you throughout the day. New this year: for its 50th anniversary of opening to visitors, the château will open for the first time during the week, from Wednesdays to Sundays, then every day during school holidays. For this special commemoration, our teams will propose numerous surprises.