Vaux-le-Vicomte en lumières: the Holidays season celebrates Jean de la Fontaine's 400th birthday

Published by Cécile D. · Photos by Cécile D. · Updated on 25 November 2021 at 17h33 · Published on 12 November 2021 at 11h00
For this Christmas 2021, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte turns into an enchanting castle with thousands of colors. From November 20, 2021 to January 2, 2022, with its fairytale-like decors, its lights, and its light festival in the French formal garden, and video mapping show on the chateau façade, little ones and grown-ups will be over the moon. This year, the catsle pays tribute to Jean de la Fontaine's 400th birthday with never-before-seen entertainments.

Château de Vaux le Vicomte goes all lit up with an exceptional décor. This year, festivities held from November 20, 2021 to January 2, 2022 pays tribute to a special character since it is the 400th birthday of poet Jean de la Fontaine. And the castle will celebrate it with never-before-seen décors and immersive show. The Vogüé family welcomes children and adults in a décor entirely thought up for the Holidays.

An enchanting visit for the greatest pleasure of couples and families looking for magical and exceptional moment in the gardens à la française. For this 16th edition, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte shines a light La Fontaine's fables with décors based on the poet's famous fables and a few extra surprises added to the usual entertainments.

This year again, Vaux-le-Vicomte sees things big: 20,000 gifts given to children, 4,000 meters of light strings, a 3.5-m tall lit angel... This Christmas promises to be fantastic!

When you arrive, meet festive bears who took over the carriages of the carriage museum. Sketches with 70 bears lent by Histoire d'Ours entertain visitors. To be in the mood, inhale deeply and enjoy the hints of honey and chocolate, and be amazed by the outdoor decorations and giant wooden toys. Outside the museum, giant sketches made by Jean de la Fontaine's famous illustrators (Gustave Doré, François Chauveau, Jean-Baptiste Oudry...) remind us of the fables we used to learn by heart.

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Inside the catsle, a new magical décor expects us. The poet's fables have taken over each room, recreating famous sweet and funny scenes. Discover the Fox and the Squirrel chatting under an decorated arch of the squared Grande Chambre.

In the Chambre des Muses, a mirror set expects us: decorations are reflecting in all the surfaces for an enchanting effect. The Cricket and the Ant negociate food in a sugar décor at the Cabinet des Jeux. Further away, in the Antichambre d'Hercule, a three-meter-tall animated bear looks upon us.

Then, head to the library to enjoy a dozen sketches performed under the fable tree. The traditional nativity scene, entirely white, still takes place in the Chambre du Roi.

And meet with your animal friends in the Cabinet du Roi, where the Tortoise and the Hare are completing their famous race again. All animals are then invited for a magnificent ball in the Salle des Buffets. Last but not least, downstairs, a décor made of pink cakes from Reims stages the Swan and the Cook fable. And do not forget the Fox and the Crow made of chocolate in the castle's kitchen.

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And new this year: do not miss the first 360° mapping screened on the walls and the cupola of the Grand Salon. This light entertainment tells the friendship between Nicolas Fouquet and Jean de la Fontaine through the Fox and the Squirrel fable. This story is told by Laurent Stocker - member of the Comédie Française. Beyond the adventures of the animal characters - likely to please children - adults will discover the politic idea de la Fontaine wanted to convey by making Fouquet the Squirrel and Colbert the Fox, and Louis XIV the sun and the lightning bolt. The screening even enables to see the rivalry between Louvois and Colbert by briefly turning dogs chasing the fox into wolves.

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A new paper chase take children across the estate. Visitors will have to walk in Jean de la Fontaine's steps, including the famous animals playing hide-and-seek around statues in the estate. Find all the mischief characters to win a snack and leave with a souvenir from this magical day!

Even better: sweet-toothed visitors are invited to take part in the tasty watch from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Each child will be given some marshmallows to toast above one of the braziers of the terrace of the orangery.

We are greeted in the gardens by a five-meter-tall squirrel, emblem of the first owner of the place, Nicolas Foueut. A bit further, a gourmet bandstand, on the terrace of the stoup, with giant toys made of wood (pick-up-sticks, tic-tac-toe, Connect Four...) are available for free.

Last but not least and for the first time, the estate provides you with water sets performed daily from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding December 25 and January 1).

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It is also the occasion to enjoy a walk in the garden thought up by Le Nôtre, it’s covered in a multitude of light garlands lighting up at nightfall and making box trees and lawns sparkle while a 5-m squirrel rules over the gardens à la française: for a unique moment, horse-drawn-carriage rides for an additional cost.

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In the park, do not miss the lit fir trees inhabited in animals coming straight from the fables. This staging - accompanied by flowerbeds and lit golden cages - makes us feel like we are walking a kingdom of tales from our childhood.

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And do not miss the monumental light show on the chateau's façade at nightfall. The mapping tells you about and reinterprets in a poetic and artistic fashion and in five scenes, the highlights of the story of Vaux-le-Vicomte. Several ten-minute shows are performed every evening making the architecture of this unique place come to life. This year, an exclusive scene has been added to this light show to pay tribute to Jean de la Fontaine's loyalty to his friend Nicolas Fouquet.

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Twice a day and untill December 31, go and look for the golden hazelnuts hidden in the gardens and try and win a very beautiful gifts! They are added to the surprise gift children until 17 years get at the Chalet des Grilles d'Eau. And make the most of it and hang a wish in the wish trees set at the Grilles d'Eau.

In short, here is how to be amazed and left in awe.

Careful! Christmas 2021 event will be only available by booking, we invite you to book tickets in advance to make sure you have the timed admission you want. We thank you for your understanding. Yearly pass, Les Amis de Vaux-le-Vicomte card or invitation holders will also have to book their tickets online and add in their basket a "free" ticket.

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 20 November 2021 to 2 January 2022

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    Location

    Château de Vaux-Le-Vicomte
    77950 Maincy

    Prices
    - de 6 ans: Free
    6-17 ans: €15
    Tarif adulte: €19.9

    Recommended age
    For all

    Official website
    vaux-le-vicomte.com

    Booking
    billetterie.vaux-le-vicomte.com

    More informations
    Jusqu'au 17 décembre
    => en semaine : de 14h à 18h45
    => les week-end : de 11h à 18h45
    Vacances de Noël 18 décembre au 2 janvier :
    => tous les jours de 11h à 18h45 -fermeture du domaine à 19h45-
    (sauf les 24 & 31 décembre : de 11h à 16h45 -fermeture à 17h45)
    Fermeture les 25 décembre et 1er
    janvier.
    Le spectacle sur la façade du château a lieu à 18h, 18h30 et 19h.
    Parking gratuit

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