A day fit for aristocrats and royalty
CHATEAUS, GARDENS, AND CEILINGS….
I wanted to make a quick post to share some photos from today. After the usual petit dejeuner of pain au chocolat and coffee, we switched up our routine of RER Metro stops and loaded up onto a charter bus with Château de Fontainebleau and Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in our sights. Both were beautiful and unique from other chateaus that I have previously visited, and I now have very high standards for the ceilings in my future homes! Another bonus was that the weather was perfect. We have experienced a lot of rain in Paris so far, so I am always grateful for good weather.
A quote from the official website of Fontainebleau… “With over 1500 rooms at the heart of 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries.” I am not sure if seven centuries is even enough time to take in all the beauty of this place… It is full of history and I was really glad that we had a tour guide for the visit who was able to provide us with a seemingly endless amount of information.
As you can see, this place is fit for a king, a king that apparently enjoys looking up! Every inch of this château is ornate, and while I will spare you from the 200 photos I took of the chairs/beds/carpets/walls/vases/statues/etc., I couldn’t help but share these ceiling pictures. I also have 30 or more ceiling pictures from the day, but I think two pictures is enough.
After loosing the ability to focus my eyes due to the overwhelmingly ornate rooms in Fontainebleau, the gardens welcomed me with their natural beauty. From the swan who seemed to enjoy being photographed to the ducklings hanging out with their fish friends… I could have stayed there in the sunshine all day long.
Vaux-le-Vicomte is a château with quite the story attached to it! Under the reign of Louis XIV, Vaux was built by the king’s financial minister Nicolas Fouquet. Louis, perhaps jealous of the château’s beauty and/or suspicious of how the palace was funded, had Fouquet arrested and exiled. There is much more to that story that I won’t bore you with, but another interesting fact is that after arresting Fouquet and confiscating Vaux, Louis XIV set his sights on constructing Versailles. He even used the same team of artists that Fouquet had used! I am looking forward to noticing similarities in the gardens and design details when I head to Versailles next week!
The inside of Vaux le Vicomte is much less ornate when compared to Fontainebleau. It was never truly finished due to the arrest of it’s owner, I found it refreshing to have a few boring ceilings in the house like the one above.
After finishing the tour of the inside, we attempted to tackle the garden. The gardens are so large that they have golf carts for rent. Not wanting to be lazy or waste 15 euros, we explored on foot and saw as much as we could in the time allotted.
I really enjoyed both Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte, and have placed them both on my *must return* list! I already have a few picnic spots mapped out in my head!