It was the day Nicolas Fouquet unveiled his new castle to the court that Louis XIV threw him in prison. Now, you may think that was a bit rude of the Roi Soleil to do so, but spending a whole day at Vaux-le-Vicomte to visit the castle and gardens made me understand why Louis XIV became so freaking jealous of his Superintendent of finances’s home. It is magnificent! Built in 1658-61, with the help of Louis le Vau and Le Nôtre, this castle and its gardens play with perspectives and light. Its size and style are a lot more moderate compared to Versailles and makes its beauty far more humble. As much as I love Versailles, all that gold can seem a bit too much and “in your face”, something you don’t get when visiting Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Another plus side is the fact that much less people go visit it, probably because it’s less famous, a bit out of the way and slightly pricier. But being able to move from room to room without people pushing you and getting hit by selfie sticks in the head is a much more pleasant experience. I even took a nap in the gardens because it was so calm!
Although it’s not as straightforward as hopping on the RER C to travel from Paris, it’s actually quite quick and simple to make it all the way to Vaux le Vicomte. You just take the transilien P from Gare de l’Est, get off at Verneuil-l’Etang and then take a 15 minutes coach (10€ for a return ticket). The whole journey is one hour long, that’s it!
I recommend going on a sunny day so you can take advantage of the light which plays an important role in the perspectives that the castle plays with. I won’t say more and let those pictures speak for themselves, hoping they’ll make you want to go and see it all with your own eyes.
Entrance: 15.50€ (13.50€ for students, under 18 and over 65)
Hours: check here
Photos were taken with Pentax K1000 – Fujifilm Superia 400