Chateau Vaux le Vicomte is about an hours journey south of Paris. I share photography and a few facts which may inspire you to visit Vaux le Vicomte on a day trip from Paris.
Vaux le Vicomte Grand Entrance
After an hour long journey from Paris, the first view of Vaux le Vicomte will make that trip worth while. What’s more, as this chateau is such a trip from Paris, you’ll come across far fewer tourists than the Palace of Versailles. As a result, you can take a picture by the gates all by yourself. Consider dressing up for the day or hiring period costume on site.
Vaux le Vicomte Facts
Before I share more Vaux le Vicomte photography, let me share 8 fantastic facts.
- Vaux le Vicomte features the first formal gardens in France and inspiration for Versailles.
- The gardens, as well as the interior and exterior of Vaux le Vicomte feature in James Bond Moonraker.
- Opened in 1661 after 5 years of construction.
- From the front, you can see through the chateau to the magnificent gardens.
- Perfect symmetry north to south in both the building itself and the gardens.
- The gardens by Andre Le Notre appear flat but are multi layered.
- Decorated by famous French artist, Charles Le Brun.
- French architect Louis Le Vau created the chateau itself.
Domed Grand Salon
For me, the Domed Grand Salon is the centerpiece of the interior. Why? In itself it’s a stunning, royally decorated circular room. To complement this it offers elegant views in every direction. Look south to the formal gardens or north to the Courtyard of Honor. East and west offers views into the perfectly aligned hallways and rooms. Look up and there’s a huge cupola which features famous artwork by Charles Le Brun.
The Kings Room
How did a 17th century French King live? In a royally decorated room with intricate details. No picture can do this room justice, you have to see it to believe it.
Nothing looks better than a royal room filled with historic books. Parlez vous Francais? Wouldn’t this be an inspiring room to learn French in!
Intricate Details as you Explore Vaux Le Vicomte
Every detail of every room in this historic chateau has been planned to perfection. If you require more information then each room comes with a board explaining how the room was used and who occupied it.
As well as artwork by Charles de Brun each room features unique furniture and ornaments.
Symmetry at Vaux Le Vicomte
I mentioned you can see through to the formal gardens from the Courtyard of Honor. In addition, you can stand in the middle of the building and view directly through each corridor to the side gardens. These corridors run directly from east to west and the shape of each room on either side is identical.
Vaux Le Vicomte Underground
When you first see the chateau entrance, the last thing on your mind is an extensive underground area. Let’s explore!
The underground area of Vaux le Vicomte features an extensive kitchen area. Imagine sitting upstairs whilst they were cooking? The aroma must have complemented the garden views.
Underground Storage Area
What would the French store underground in addition to food? Champagne of course.
Artwork by Charles Le Brun
Charles Le Brun is known as the greatest French artist that ever lived. For this reason, you can see his artwork all over Paris to Puerto Rico. He decorated the interior of Vaux le Vicomte and as a result, nearly all the artwork on display is his.
Le Temps Enlevant au Ciel la Verite
The most famous piece of Charles Le Brun artwork at Vaux le Vicomte is Le Temps Enlevant au Ciel la Verite. You’ll find this on the ceiling of the King’s Room. Have you heard the phrase ‘fit for a king’?. This artwork is certainly fit for a king. King Louis XIV to be exact.
Palace of the Sun
The Cupola of the Grand Salon features a stunning piece of Charles Le Brun artwork known as Palace of the Sun. France is famous for grand cupolas. As a matter of fact there are cupolas in France designed by Gustave Eiffel. Read about the Nice Observatory and Hotel Hermitage (in Monaco).
More Charles Le Brun Artwork
Whichever room of Vaux le Vicomte you’re exploring, it’s highly likely it features Charles Le Brun artwork.
Fans of majestic Baroque era artwork will spend hours admiring every detail of the Vaux le Vicomte interiors.
Vaux Le Vicomte Gardens
Andre Le Notre was the official gardener of Louis XIV. It was his formal gardens here which were the inspiration for the gardens of Versailles. When you look out it appears to be a long flat garden but as you explore you’ll discover several different levels and sections. All of which are symmetrical and thought out in every detail. Andre Le Notre truly owned a magical mind to create such a masterpiece.
The Great Water Mirror
As you walk down the formal gardens, you’ll discover a huge pool of water. When you look back towards chateau a stunning reflective view rewards you. Finally, did you know there’s also a reflecting pool in the city of Bordeaux, France.
As you explore the formal gardens of Vaux Le Vicomte you’ll discover countless marble sculptures. Many are of these are Ancient Greek and Renaissance era designs. What’s for certain is they complement the green of the gardens.
As you explore the formal gardens of Vaux Le Vicomte you’ll discover several features. In addition to the Confessional (above) you’ll see, Parterre de Broderie, Flower Parterre, waters grids, little canals, Triton Basins, Round Pool and vegetable garden grids.
Cascades, Grottos and Gerbe Basin
Before walking around the cascades and canal there is a final view of Hercules standing above the Grottos and Gerbe Basin. Back in the 17th century, royalty would cross this canal in a boat.
A huge golden Hercules statue is looking over the formal gardens. To witness this statue close up should give you the inspiration to walk the whole length of the gardens.
Hercules Looking Over the Gardens of Vaux le Vicomte
Golden Hercules is looking over 33 hectares of French formal gardens. Additionally, there are 20 pools spread out throughout these gardens. He sure is lucky to be frozen in time with such a majestic viewpoint.
The Carriage Museum
As you Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, you may wish to view original 17th century carriages in the Carriage Museum. Interestingly, the museum is located in the former stables area at the edge of the grounds and around the corner from the Chateau bus stop.
How to Get to Chateau Vaux le Vicomte from Paris
Trains run every hour from Paris Gare de l’Est station. Take any Line P train in the direction of Provins. Verneuil l’Etang is the train station you need to get off at. Once at Verneuil l’Etang, find the Chateau Bus which will take you directly to Vaux le Vicomte. The Chateau Bus is scheduled to leave shortly after the train arrives. When you return, it’s scheduled to arrive at the train station about 10 minutes before the train departs back to Paris. Finally, the train ticket is around €17 return and the Chateau Bus is €10 return.
Read about other Paris day trips to Chateau de Fontainebleau, Atelier Lumieres, Saint-Denis Basilica, Conciergerie, Sainte Chapelle, Stade de France Stadium Tour, Parc des Princes Stadium Tour or the Ballon de Paris.