1.The founding French Formal Garden and inspiration of Versailles
André Le Nôtre, gardener of the King, creates at Vaux-le-Vicomte the seminal expression of the Jardin à la française, the French aesthetic of formal gardens that swept Europe in the 17th century. The strong lines and nobility of the garden design, its changing vistas and hidden charms, and the symphony of fountains, all combine with theatrical majesty to make Vaux-le-Vicomte a masterpiece of the French Formal Garden.
Nicolas Fouquet commissioned the most important artists of his time : an architect, Louis Le Vau, a painter, Charles Le Brun, and a landscape gardener, André Le Notre, to execute jointly the entire project. The result of this fraternal union was a work of unparalleled harmony and beauty. Louis XIV will hire the same team to build the Château de Versailles.
2.The largest private estate listed as a Historic Monument in France
The largest private estate listed as a Historic Monument in France
From its creation in the XVIIth century, four successive families owned the estate. Private house and home before opening to public in 1968, the château has kept an inhabited spirit, welcoming each visitor as a guest.
3.An unforgettable family day
Period costume rental – Princess or King’s musketeer, your children will live the Grand Siècle experience in a château!
Game booklet – a riddle book is given to every child with the entry ticket
Electric car rental – to amuse young and old, 4-persons electric buggies are available to roam the 33 hectares of French Formal Garden
Guided and costumed visits for children – they will discover the real life of a XVIIth century child, learning curtesy and games
4.A unique and romantic evening
An inescapable institution and one of the most beautiful examples of Vaux-le-Vicomte’s audacity, the château was the first to offer evening visits lit by candles…a unique moment. Every Saturday evening from May to October, 2000 candles enlighten the château and the gardens, enhancing a moment out of time and place. In 2017, a new fireworks is launched by a luck visitor drawn by lots!
5.A château near Paris
50 kilometers southeast of Paris, the estate is accessible by car, by public transportation or by shuttle. MORE INFORMATION
6.Events all throughout the year
All year long, the château offers animations to rediscover the estate under many ways :
Easter – a giant Easter egg hunt in the gardens
Candlelit evenings – every Saturday evening from May to October, the château and its gardens are lit by 2000 candles
Water show – every 2nd and last Saturday of the month, from 3 PM to 6 PM, all the fountains of the garden are switched open for a unique moment
The Grand Siècle experience – a period costumed day, a trip back in the XVIIth century
Vaux-le-Vicomte at the movies – dive into the realization of the most famous movies and series shot at the château
Christmas – a thousand and one decoration and illuminations will transport you into a magical world of marvel and wonder
7.An entirely decorated and furnished château
The visit of the château is organized around four levels, decorated and furnished as if Nicolas Fouquet and his family had recently left the place. Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of the rare decors that has remained intact back from the XVIIth century.
8.A 360° visit
Discover a panoramic view over all the estate from the lantern overlooking the central dome, culminating point over the château. A breath-taking view at 25 meters above the ground.
André Le Nôtre at Vaux-le-Vicomte – The seminal work of French Formal Garden housed in the basement of the château, is a large audiovisual display, in which Le Nôtre himself explains to Nicolas Fouquet the different stages of landscaping the estate.
Vaux-le-Vicomte, auxiliary hospital n°23 – during First World War, the estate was transformed in a military hospital ; it cared for almost 2000 French soldiers.
10.The Carriage Museum
A rare collection of beautiful antique carriages and their equipment are on display in the stable block. More information.