Vaux-Le-Vicomte, France by Jean-Marie Perouse de Montclos
The French chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte was built in just five years from 1657 to 1661 by Louis XIV's Minister of Finance Nicolas Foucquet, halfway between the royal summer houses of Vincennes and Fontainebleau. Designed by Louis Le Vau, decorated by Charles Le Brun and with gardens laid out by Andre Le Notre, the house was still partially unfinished on the 17th August 1661 when Foucquet invited the King to the celebrated reception that was followed almost immediatley by Foucquet's arrest. Within weeks, the house was under judicial seal, the team of craftsmen disbanded or removed to Versailles and Foucquet was in prison.
Despite its politically unstable history and the threat of demolition during the French Revolution, Vaux has survived remarkably unaltered and intact.