Melun town guide
It is likely that the car hire driver will be visiting Melun due to the fact that it is a major industrial centre. It is South East of Paris on the Seine. Originally founded on an island in the Seine in Roman times it spread to both sides of the river. Like many towns in France it has been ravaged several times and controlled by various Counts and Dukes over the years. There is a fine twelfth century church and several good Roman remains.
The town is now heavily industrial and produces everything from car bodies to pharmaceuticals.
The jewel in Melun's crown is definitely the Chateau de Vaux le Viscomte. Louis IV who of course, had his palace at Versailles, had a finance minister called Nicholas Fouget who was not only extremely wealthy in his own right but had a reputation for being somewhat arrogant. Fouget built his Chateau at Melun. Although the chateau Vaux cannot match the splendour of Versailles, it is a superb example of the style known as Louis Quatrorze and thought by many to be in rather better taste than the king's chateau. Sadly Louis was jealous of Fouget, accused him of embezzlement and brought about his downfall.
Visitors by hire car should try to be at the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte on a Saturday evening in summer when it is lit by candles. If you are really lucky you might catch a water fountain show as well!