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On March 21 at 11 a.m. at Rosine Hall, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden invites the community to hear Alexandre de Vogüé speak about his family’s 17th century chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, particularly the pioneering efforts of André Le Nôtre in designing its famous gardens. de Vogüé and his brothers, Jean-Charles de Vogüé and Ascanio de Vogüé, who now manage their ancestral estate, located just outside Paris, France, have also written a book, A Day at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, which will be available for purchase and signing after the speech. The talk is free to paid garden guests, although reservations are encouraged by contacting Mayra Salazar at 214-515-6677 or via email at


Alexandre de Vogüé will give insight into the fascinating history of the estate as well as the modern day challenges involved in managing the largest private property in France, which is also listed as a historic monument. Together with his brothers, the fifth generation to own the family estate, he oversees an ongoing and ambitious restoration program, balancing attention to historic preservation and cultural heritage.


Vaux-le-Vicomte’s history began in 1641 when Finance Minister Nicolas Fouquet bought the estate and engaged three of the most famous artists of Grand Siècle: architect Louis Le Vau, painter Charles de Brun and landscape designer André Le Nôtre to transform it into a magnificent residence. The estate soon became the model that inspired Europe for more than a century, impressing even Louis XIV who engaged the same artists to build the château de Versailles. In 1875, a wealthy French industrialist named Alfred Sommier purchased the estate in an auction and undertook renovations to restore it. In 1968, Patrice de Vogüé, Sommier’s great grandson, opened the château to the public to raise funds to preserve the property. Now Patrice’s sons are continuing to preserve the splendor of Vaux-le-Vicomte.


A significant feature of the estate is the illustrious garden designed by Le Nôtre. Perhaps the leading landscape designer of all time, Le Nôtre’s work includes Versailles, Chantilly and the Tuileries.


Mary Brinegar, Dallas Arboretum president and CEO, said, “We are fortunate to have one of the world's most significant estate owners speak with us, and we invite the public to join us. Some feel the garden design of Vaux-le-Vicomte may be among Le Nôtre’s best. We will hear how this landscape architect’s classic work is evidenced today at the de Vogue family’s lovely château."


The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.   The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and under. On-site parking is $15; pre-purchased online parking is $9. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit



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