This November 20th, “Vaux-le-Vicomte en Lumières” returns for its 16th edition, this time in celebration of the 400th birthday of celebrated French fabulist and poet Jean de La Fontaine. In his honor, the 17th-century castle – which was the original inspiration for the Palace of Versailles – will transform into a fairytale fable palace, adorned with thousands of dazzling decorations and twinkling lights.
Naturally, this year’s theme spotlights fables and animals, and you will be immersed in it immediately upon arrival, when characters from Louis XIV ‘s court dressed as animals from his stories take you through an illuminated alley of pines via horse-drawn carriage; the boxwoods, topiaries and statues of the property’s gardens all sparkling with lights around you.
As you approach the grandiose castle, take time to marvel at the monumental projection on its facade, this year with a brand-new artwork honoring La Fontaine. Inside, from the library to the Grande Chambre Carrée to the kitchen… all throughout the château, everyone’s favorite childhood fables will come to life with specially installed elements, scenes and animated automations of his most beloved tales.
For the first time in the history of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 360 degree mapping will be projected onto the over 16,000-square-foot walls and dome of the castle’s Grand Salon, literally enveloping visitors in a completely immersive, dreamlike storybook universe, as Comédie Française member Laurent Stocker narrates the “The Fox and The Squirrel.” Everywhere you turn, you’ll find crackling log fires and hear festive Baroque music.
In the Chamber of Muses, enjoy “The Stag & His Reflection,” and in the Cabinet des Jeux, listen to a recounting of “The Grasshopper and the Ant.” A massive animated bear will tell you the tale of “The Bear and the Gardener” in the Antechamber of Hercules, and in the King’s Cabinet, find everyone’s favorite – “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Move on to the Buffet Room, where all the fable animals meet for a ball around a decadent table spread, and in the kitchen, “The Raven and the Fox” will be presented in chocolate by Comptoir du Cacao. This fabulous list goes on and on…
There will also be fun and interactive elements, great for kids, such as oversized wooden lawn games, treasure hunts, special readings, costume rentals and more. A truly magical event to delight the young, the old and everyone in between!
“Vaux-le-Vicomte en Lumières” will run from November 20th through January 2nd. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Vaux-le-Vicomte’s website.
Photography © Vaux-le-Vicomte