Even though we used to take Sara and Philippe to a fairly impressive Christmastime "Enchanted Forest" at one of the local department stores when they were small, they were a wee bit envious of the children dressed as princes and princesses at the Castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte last Monday. Proudly wearing the period costumes that may be rented on weekends, bank holidays and school vacations for 4€, the little royals gasped in delight at the towering Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights and at each room that was more magnificently decorated than the last. The effect was pure magic.
Intrigued by Nicholas Fouquet, the man who built the castle that inspired King Louis XIV to build Versailles and wishing that I would have bought a copy of The Man Who Outshone the Sun King: Ambition, Triumph and Treachery in the Reign of Louis XIV from the gift store during our first visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte in November, I'm currently engrossed in the fascinating tale of his life:
From a glittering zenith as King Louis XIV's finance minister, builder of the breathtaking chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, collector of books, patron of the arts and lover of beautiful women. Fouquet had fallen like Icarus. Charged with embezzlement and treachery, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Charles Drazin's riveting account brings to life the rich, hazardous and Machiavellian world in which Fouquet lived. His charm, cunning and charisma enchanted and beguiled those around him, but in them lay the seeds of his destruction.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to watch a dramatized miniseries on the life of Fouquet in French, Stéphane, Sara and I really enjoyed Le roi, l'écureuil et la couleuvre.
Please click on any of the photos that you would like to enlarge and enjoy a December visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte. For additional information about the castle, please refer to this earlier post.
As the sky was overcast when Stephane and I visited Vaux le Vicomte last month, we felt fortunate that Monday was an exceptionally beautiful December day.