Dear Shaded Viewers,
I was invited to visit the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte for the Candlelight Evenings which are held every Saturday from now until October 3rd. The Chateau is 50 kilometers southeast of Paris. The Chateau puts on an enchanting fireworks display in honour of the 400 year anniversary of Jean de La Fontaine, a devoted friend of Fouquet, which relates to the festival of August 17th 1661. Thanks to a letter written by La Fontaine to his friend Maucroix the evening is recreated. For the occasion, Andre Dussollier lends his voice to Jean de La Fontaine and transports the visitors back 360 years to this famous evening. I must admit to being very impressed by the fireworks display. I had visited the Chateau about 3 decades ago and of course not much has changed since then.
The architect of the chateau was Louis Le Vau, and the formal gardens which cover 33 acres were created by André Le Nôtre, gardener of the King, the seminal expression of the Jardin à la française, the French aesthetic of formal gardens that swept Europe in the 17th century. Nicolas Fouquet commissioned the most important artists of his time to execute jointly the entire project. The result of this fraternal union, Louis Le Vau, a painter, Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener, André Le Notre, was a work of unparalleled harmony and beauty. Louis XIV hired the same team to build the Château de Versailles.
If you choose you could also arrange for a very romantic private dinner for two in the Dome in front of the garden.
The estate is open from Wednesdays to Sundays.