R | | Drama, History, Romance
In pre-Revolutionary France, a young aristocratic woman left penniless by the political unrest in the country, must avenge her family's fall from grace by scheming to steal a priceless necklace.
The mansion shown belonging to the Cardinal Louis de Rohan is actually the Chateau de Vaux-Le-Vicomte, built between 1658 and 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances to Louis XIV. To ensure there was enough room for the Chateau and the planned gardens, three villages were bought and demolished. Fouquet was unfortunetly not able to enjoy the property for very long. In August of 1661, a few days after a ball, to which Lous XIV was invited, to celebrate the completion of the Chateau, the King had Fouquet arrested, charged with misappropriation of public funds, to pay for the lavish estate's construction. Fouquet was imprisoned for life, and his wife exiled. The King bought or confiscated many of the furnishings and works of art on the property, and hired the team responsible for its construction to design and build the Palace of Versailles. The property was returned to Madame Fouquet in the mid 1670s. The Chateau was never the property of the Cardinal, nor did he ever live there. In 1705, shortly after the death of her husband and son, Madame Fouquet sold the Chateau to the Marshall Villars, one of Louis XIV's most trusted Generals. He bought it sight unseen. His son would sell the property to the Duke de Praslin in 1764, and his descendants kept the property for over one hundred years. It was eventually bought, in a sad state of disrepairs, and with the gardens overgrown, and uncared for, by the Sommier family, who restored the gardens and the Chateau. The Sommier still own Vaux-le-Vicomte, and the Chateau is now open to the public. The Chateau has cropped up frequently in movies and television shows, most memorably as the home "rebuilt stone by stone in California" by the villain Drax in the James Bond film Moonraker (1979).
Napoleon wrote that military blunders and domestic catastrophes fanned the flames of the French Revolution. But the cu-de-gras was a curious palace scandal involving woman of nobility denied, a member of the royal family, and the most magnificent ...
$125,523 2 December 2001