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A Hidden Gem Outside of Paris

Traveling is always creatively inspiring. I’ve been fortunate to have visited Paris many times, mostly on business, but each time I am in awe of its beauty. My eye catches a building with classical architecture, fabulous molding, or maybe it’s just the beauty of symmetry and balance that takes my breathe away.

If you’ve been to Paris, you’ve probably visited Versailles. This trip I discovered a hidden gem – the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. It’s history and heritage is directly related to the Palace of Versailles. As I discovered, it was Louis XVI's inspiration for building Versailles.

Vaux-le-Vicomte
Vaux-le-Vicomte

Vaux-le-Vicomte was the home of Nicolas Fouquet- 1615-1680, The Surintendant des finances under Louis XVI.

Nicolas Fouquet

To build his home, he enlisted the services of three of the greatest artists of the Grand Siecle – Louis Le Vau, Architect, Andre Le Notre, Head Jardinière, and Charles Le Brun, painter and designer.

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Here are a few pictures of the interiors

First, the grand oval ballroom where galas were held.

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Inlaid desk in his office

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Madame Fouquet's bedroom

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1880 – Attele a 4 Chevaux - mode of transportation in the 19th century.

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The “dirty little secret” of the Château was revealed to me as we toured. Nicolas Fouquet hosted a lavish soiree to honor Louis XVI to his new Château. Louis XVI became outraged that a “commoner” had built a grander estate then he currently possessed.

Nicolas Fouquet is arrested, tried and condemned to life imprisonment.

Louis XVI then commissions the three men responsible for building Vaux-le-Vicomte to build Versailles - to be the grandest of Château. Not to be outshined!

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

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Palace of Versailles

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You can see the familiarity of the layout.

A fascinating story of little known – at least to me, of Paris’s history.

3 Comments

  1. Charlotte on October 31, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Beautiful “hidden gem!”

    • Susan on October 31, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Yes a wonderful find!

  2. Katharine on October 31, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Stunning!

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