|Christmas decorations at Château de Vaux le Vicomte|
Dear Santa's helpers, If you're still looking for some last minute stocking stuffers, please consider purchasing an annual membership to a local museum, castle or monument. Not only does it help preserve the historical heritage of France, it's also the gift that keeps on giving throughout the entire year.
As friends of Château de Vaux le Vicomte, Stéphane and I have strolled through the castle's French formal gardens illuminated by thousands of candles in July and sampled more than our fill of chocolate at the Salon du Chocolat in November. We've picnicked on the lawn in 18th century costumes in June and marveled at the sumptuous holiday decorations in December. With a calendar full of special events, there's always a compelling reason to visit the masterpiece of 17th century architecture and garden design created by King Louis XIV's finance minister, Nicholas Fouquet.
|Château de Vaux le Vicomte|
"C'est féerique!" That's what I overheard an elderly French woman whisper to another as they snapped photos of the snow flocked evergreens leading to the entrance of Vaux le Vicomte last Saturday evening. And, it was like something out of a fairytale. Classical choir music emanated from hidden speakers and the scent of smoke wafted through the crisp air. My senses tingled with a childlike sense of anticipation as we entered the large foyer. Even though I've visited the castle on numerous occasions, I couldn't wait to see the stately salons decorated for Christmas, each one more dazzling than the last. The centerpiece is an 8 meter (26 foot) tree adorned with 5,000 ornaments in the Grand Salon.
To see more photos of Château de Vaux le Vicomte majestically decorated for the holidays, please click here.
From December 21, 2013 until January 5, 2014, Château de Vaux le Vicomte welcomes visitors from 10:30 am until 6:00 pm. The last admission is 5:45 pm. The castle will be closed on December 25 and January 1.
|Christmas trees in one of the salons at Château de Vaux le Vicomte|