The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 12

Sensational cities to tiny villages, food and wine, culture and heritage. Champagne, an aristocratic saffron grower, Anger, Montparnasse, Morzeine, Carol Drinkwater shares her passion for France. Gorgeous photos and fabulous features will transport you to the heart of France in this brilliant, free magazine...

Instead of staying the

Instead of staying the night in the bedroom designed especially for him, with a view of a giant crown in a lake, which he was supposed to see upon waking next morning, the king cut short his visit. He travelled to his own chateau of Fontainebleau, a journey of three hours by horse and carriage. Resentful of Fouquet's opulent display of wealth, incensed by being left at the bottom of the stairs, prey to the whispers of those who sought to remove Fouquet from his position of trusted advisor, the young King had his minister arrested just two weeks later on 5 September 1661. Louis had everything in the Chateau removed and taken to Versailles – the furniture, paintings, tapestries, ornaments, beds and even the orange trees in their pots in the garden. He also took Le Brun and Le Notre and commanded them to help him turn Versailles, then a glorified hunting lodge, into the incredible monument we see today. A show trial took place, with accusations of Fouquet's having swindled his royal master to build his chateau. The allegations were backed up by crooked witnesses and fake paperwork fuelled by jealous ministers who wanted the King’s allegiance for themselves. Fouquet, having supported the King through thick and thin was exiled. It wasn’t enough for Louis, he recalled Fouquet and had him imprisoned until he died in 1680. Vaux le Vicomte went to sleep and from that day no King every slept there, though it was designed to be fit for royalty. The Chateau today - biggest privately owned home in France The painters who had put away their brushes out of sight of the party guests never returned. Some of the walls of Vauxle-Vicomte remain unpainted (you’ll see this in the apartment of the King’s chamber). There are plain plaster cherubs and nudes in some rooms lacking the colour of the finished pieces in other rooms. Two major ceilings have temporary paintings, added in 1875 to cover their bareness. Some statues are not quite as elegant as others - stand with your back to the Chateau looking at the grand entrance, and you’ll see some statues have square heads, the sculptor hadn’t finished them. In 1875 the chateau was bought by the ancestors of the de Vogüé family who now live in the chateau. It is the largest privately owned home in France.

© Beatrice Lecuer-Bibal Above: The grand entrance hall; right, detail on shutter; below: dining room; right one of the sumptuously decorated rooms

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