Unforgettable Paris suburb, a place where was the country residence of French kings for centuries, beginning with Louis 7 – (1120-1180), a place where extremely important historical events in French history took place . And today Fontainebleau welcomes its visitorsin in the full splendor of it, recalling the days when France was ruled by great kings.
Fontainebleau has long been a favorite estate of the French monarchs, the site of numerous royal hunting and jousting. The king Francis began the building of non fortified royal castle – the Fontainebleau, which we can admire today. Francis invited famous Italian architects and artists for construction and interior decoration of the palace, among whom was Benveutto Cellini, who turned a standard country house in a true work of art. You will understand what I mean, when you find yourself inside the castle.
Pay attention to the gallery of Francis 1, in which traditionally were apartments of queens, here is a golden bed, adorned with emeralds, breathtaking ballroom and salon of Louis 13, decorated with unique wall paintings. Magnificent apartments of the Duchess of Etampes, the Hall Napoleon, where stands the imperial seat, the gallery of Diana (a priceless library of the castle), and more. For the luxury of the dance halls must lock Napoleon, or rather, Josephine de Beauharnais, wife of the emperor loved balls.
I must say that the French monarchs were very fond of the castle Fontainebleau. After the death of Francis 1, the castle wаs under the watchful eye of King Henry 2 of Valois, and Catherine de Medici. It was then that the famous architect Philibert Delorme was invited to lead the construction. At time of King Henry 4 a large channel appeared near the castle , which the king commanded to fill with fish. The channel has a length of 1,200 meters. In the old days royalty and their entourage were riding on it in decorated boats, and fireworks were tripled on it. But when Louis 14 with the whole court moved to Versailles, which became his favorite, Fontainebleau castle gradually fell into decay, and only during the reign of Napoleon , who started the reconstruction of the royal residence, it again shone in all its glory, acquired in the interiors of their incomparable delicious features of the Empire style.
Fontainebleau castle is surrounded by landscaped gardens with a pond where you can walk and go to the observation deck of the Grand Canal. Besides all the indisputable artistic merit, the castle also has a unique historical collection. You should visit here the museum of Napoleon Bonaparte , with a collection of his personal belongings and gifts to the emperor.
Of course, Fontainebleau deserves your attention, and because this castle is a real jewel of art, and because it is a real witness to many significant events in the history of the French monarchy. Here was born the King Philip 4 Beautiful who weakened the power of feudal lords in the country and defeated the Order of the Templars. Henry 3 was born here – the last king of France from the Valois dynasty. Also here was born King Louis 13 – the husband of Queen Anne of Austria.
And it is here, in the courtyard of the castle Napoleon Bonaparte took leave of his guards, after his abdication.
You can get from Paris to Fontainebleau by yourself , by the subway station Gare de Lyon , where you need to get on the train, departing every hour. The journey will take 45 minutes.
Castle of Fontainebleau is opened to the public daily, except Tuesdays. Its closed on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. Working Hours – 9:30 to 17:00 and 18:00 in the period from 1st June to 30th September. Last visitors login closes 45 minutes before closing the lock.
In addition to excursions with a guide, you can take the audio guide. In the main halls there is an opportunity for people with reduced mobility to visit, and also they have special tours for visually impaired visitors.
The cost of visiting the main halls (halls of the Renaissance, monarchs and imperial apartments private rooms): full adult ticket – € 6.50 for persons under 18 years – 4.5 euros.
The cost of visiting the small hall (Museum of Napoleon, and a route “Fontainebleau in the Second Empire”): a full adult ticket – 3 euros, for persons under 18 – 2 euros.
Rent audio guide (10 languages) – 4.60 euros. You can take pictures anywhere, for free, but without a flash.
Audio guide is very useful for those who want to leisurely inspect all the rooms, making a memorable images, as well as free to visit the castle courtyards and gardens. What can’t be done when you go with a group tour. In a group tour the time is clearly limited, you enter, another group on the way, you move around the room, another group is already on your site. And so everywhere.