I have found the next item I would like to cross off my bucket list… the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte. The famed precursor to Versailles, the venue of the party that in fact placed the ‘man in the iron mask’, in the iron mask. I was so excited to see the story on the 400th anniversary of the gardens on AD this morning, I was unaware it was so easily accessible to the public… 15 Euros?! A real bargain, as long as you can make it to Franc,e that is.
I have to say the story of the property is what movies are made of (in fact there are numerous movies). The French finance minister under Louis XIV decided to not only build the most grand chateau in the land, but then to go ahead and throw the most over-the-top, elaborate, flashy party the land had ever seen, all in honor of the king. That was his big mistake. Show up Louis the fourteenth? The king who quite literally thought he was the sun itself? Big mistake. Louis XIV was quite annoyed and being upstaged, and also quite convinced his finance minister was stealing money from him. Luckily there was an easy fix for Louis… throw the finance minister in prison (and for extra effect put him in an iron mask) and hire all of his designers and architects to create an even better palace at Versailles. Love.
And now I can wander the halls myself? Sold. There is nothing on earth like French Mansard architecture…or that gray French sky….