Nicolas Fouquet’s life
During this tour, you will learn about the incredile life of Nicolas Fouquet, for whom the castle was built and who served as financial Minister of the King Louis XIV during the 17th century. You will learn about him from his birth in Paris until he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the King because he felt overshadowed by his Financial Minister.
Nicolas Fouquet built this castle during the 17th century (1658 to 1661). He appealed to the best artists of the time to build his castle: architect, painters, landscape architect… If you already visited the Palace of Versailles, you will realize that this chateau was the architectural inspiration for Versailles and set the standard for European palaces to come. It may explain why we really love this unique Chateau & think that it is worth a visit.
Tour the castle
Once arrived in the small village of Maincy located about located 35 miles southeast of Paris, you will discover The chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, surrounded by the forest of the French countryside. Your tour guide will take you to the main door of the castle in order to visit inside the castle. You will realize that this lovely castle is very well furnished.
The castle tour is organized on four levels, very well furnished and decorated as if Nicolas Fouquet and his family had recently left. The tour consists in visiting the private apartments of Nicolas Fouquet in the 1st floor followed by the ceremonial rooms on the ground floor and the basement with the large kitchens. then, you will walk on a staircase which leads you up to the lantern, the highest point from which emerges the overview of the chateau and its surrounding countryside.
The Carriage Museum
The Carriage Museum at Vaux le Vicomte exhibits a collection, rare in Europe, of horse-drawn carriages and equipment. You will have the privilege to visit this exhibition before leaving this magical place.
The history of horse-drawn carriages through the ages is presented in a vibrant setting, imbued with elegance and refinement.
The gardens by Lenôtre
The gardens located south of the castle are remarkable for their size and style. Trees pruned, ponds, statues and tidy walkways make it a French garden. The gardens of Vaux le Vicomte was designed by one of the most famous « paysagiste » that France have known: André Lenôtre. The list of gardens designed by Lenôtre is long…And you may sometimes walk in Paris in a lovely garden or park that was built by this man. (think about the Tuilerie gardens, the Luxembourg gardens, Versailles gardens, Saint Cloud gardens…). So Let’s breath the fresh air of the countryside & enjoy a nice stroll through its quaint and lovely French gardens in a peaceful atmosphere.
Le Nôtre’s garden, stretches nearly a mile and a half with a balanced composition of water basins and canals contained in stone curbs, fountains, gravel walks, and patterned parterres that remains coherent.
The site was naturally well-watered, with two small rivers that met in the park. the canalized bed of one forms the Grand Canal, which leads to a square basin.
Le Nôtre created a magnificent scene to be viewed from the castle, using the laws of perspective. Le Nôtre used the natural terrain to his advantage. He placed the canal at the lowest part of the complex, thus hiding it from the main perspectival point of view. Past the canal, the garden ascends a large open lawn and ends with the Hercules column added in the 19th century.
Full day tour
In you choose the full day tour, we will have lunch in a Michelin starred restaurant not far from Vaux le Vicomte. It is one of the best of the area (if not the best) . (Menu from 35€ to 48€ is not included in the price of the tour)
After lunch, you will have the choice to visit a typical medieval village: Moret sur Loing or to visit a medieval fortress: Blandy les tours.
Blandy les Tours
From the crenels and battlements to the kitchen and medieval toilets, explore this typical fortress of the hundred years war time. Imagine how the knights and fair ladies dwelt inside those fierce towers and ascend to the top of the famous dungeon. This Chateau has also become a cultural exhibition center and a modern art sanctuary and offers a dynamic musical program with concerts and families events.
End of the tour
To finish, your guide & his driver will take you back to your hotel. You will travel back to Paris by La Bastille square in Paris where Nicolas Fouquet had been jailed. This historical place was a prison fortress built there in Paris in the past. Fouquet, the Man in the iron Mask, Voltaire and Marquis de Sade have this gloomy residence in common. Your guide will share their anecdotic stories with you ! Now it is a lively place in central Paris where the modern Opera House has been built 30 years ago.