• LOCATION 57 | Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Straight on the Allée de Ceres et de Flore

    The king felt insulted to be shown better than he had by this upstart. Furthermore, he suspected Fouquet was stealing money from the state to be able to afford such a palace and such a party.

    Fouquet learned of the king's displeasure, and in an offhand tone, offered him Vaux le Vicomte as a gift. This bruised Louis XIV's pride even further, to a point the king could not stand any more.

    Two weeks later, on the king's birthday, Fouquet was arrested by d'Artagnan. Yes, the hero of the Three Musketeers was a real person, although his exploits were fictionalised.

    Fouquet was thrown in the Bastille awaiting trial. A kangaroo court found Fouquet guilty. At sentencing, he only narrowly escaped the death penalty. The two judges who made the difference saving his life were fired by the king's men.

    Fouquet was imprisoned in solitary for life at the Pignerol fortress in the Alps. He was allowed no visitors and sometimes forced to have his head encased in metal to avoid detection by sympathisers. His fate is in part the inspiration for the book, "The Man in the Iron Mask." His children were taken from his wife, who was exiled to Limoges. Fouquet wasn't allowed to see his family up until three years before his death in the jail cell.

    Keep going and I'll share Act III of the saga.

    By the way, the Wood of the Dolphin on your right, is a carbon-copy of the Wood of the Sconce we've already visited, with a mirror layout. There's no need to go inside, unless you wish to use the bathroom near the Royal Way.

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Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens