Vaux le Vicomte

Chateaux de Vaux le Vicomte - near Melun, south east of Paris

"This was the estate I considered to be my main showcase, where I wanted to leave behind some symbols of the status I had enjoyed" (Nicolas Foucquet 1615-1680).

This stunning castle was erected by Foucquet, Louis XIV's superintendant of finances. After the death of Cardinal Mazarin, in 1661, he was unjustly arrested - plotted by the young king and Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683). Foucquet was imprisoned for life after a humiliating mock trial. Vaux le Vicomte was sequestered and only given back to Madam Foucquet 12 years later. Foucquet died in prison.

History lovers! There is some highly interesting literature available about Foucquet and his contemporaries. For instance "The man who outshone the Sun King" by Charles Drazin.

The castle, as seen from aside and behind. Stylish, pretty, impressive - it has got it all.

A lot of the interior and furniture of the castle is, of course, more or less similar to other castles. Therefore just one picture of a 'normal' space, in this case the bedroom of king Louis XVI. We liked the yellow coloured alcove-bed.

This DC (as opposed to WC) is a normal chair when not in use. Where, one wonders, was the toilet paper stored? Would there, after use, have been a servant spraying a pleasant smell?

A charming combination of the bath tub and the bidet - in the same room as the DC, see the floor pattern.

The large kitchen was equipped with a lot of fires and loads of pots and pans. Last but not least, of course: an army of servants.

We climbed the dome, the outside of which is to be seen on the second picture. This is a view of the wooden construction on the inside. Ingenious!

View of the garden on the rear of the castle, as seen from the dome. This is hardly modest! Designed by the famous André le Nôtre (1613-1700).