Fontainebleau Things to Do

  • Chapel Haute de Saint-Saturnin
    Chapel Haute de Saint-Saturnin
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  • Chapel Haute de Saint-Saturnin
    Chapel Haute de Saint-Saturnin
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  • Swan enjoying the English gardens
    Swan enjoying the English gardens
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Best Rated Things to Do in Fontainebleau

  • Krystynn's Profile Photo

    Chateau de Fontainebleau: CHAMBRE DE REINE

    by Krystynn Written Dec 21, 2003

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    Do make it a point to join a guided tour for an insight look at how the Kings & Queens of France used to live. Then you'll understand how/why the French Revolution started....

    So, our first stop inside this grand palance is the gorgeous Queen's Chamber. If this were my bedroom, I would never, ever want to get out of bed...! Not even for US$10,000. ;-)

    The beautiful Queen's Chamber

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  • Krystynn's Profile Photo

    Chateau de Fontainebleau... Last glimpses

    by Krystynn Written Dec 21, 2003

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    That's me on the palace grounds. By the way, do you know that Fontainbleau had the noblest garden in all of France?

    It was made for a King, Francois I (yes, him again), who wished to rival the great courts of Italy. Though the old knots and statuary have gone, enough of the 1528-1547 layout survives to give one a sense of how gardens were arranged in sixteenth century France.

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    Chateau: The SITTING ROOM of St Louis

    by Krystynn Written Dec 21, 2003

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    The impressive and opulent Sitting Room of Saint Louis drew gasps from the tour group...

    Whilst browsing around this room, squint your eyes to the statue of Henry IV resting on the marbled mantelpiece. Please ensure that you give yourself lots of free time to just browse through the many treasured monuments found inside this amazing chateau... All the treasured monuments belonging to a bygone era.

    St Louis' favorite room

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  • Sinjoor's Profile Photo

    A step back in time to the Napoleonic era

    by Sinjoor Written Jun 26, 2003

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    A visit to the castle of Fontainebleau is worth the stop or, when one is staying at the local campground, the detour. The many visitors lining up to visit every day might be a set back, but the gardens provide an equally grand experience for the guests who dislike standing in line for an extended period of time. Starting from the castle a horse drawn carriage makes tours through the surrounding park.

    The castle's monumental staircase
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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Musee Napoleon 1-er

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jul 20, 2006

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    During revolution the palace was plundered, but Napoleon chose it as the residence and completely restored its furniture. They speak, that Napoleon could not live in Versailles as its luxury suppressed him. He liked modest and tiny palace in Fontenblou more.
    The exposition of the museum is devoted to the emperor and his family. Sculptural and painted portraits, the weapon, awards, personal things and documents tell us about ceremony of coronation, the military companies of the emperor, his private life. The museum occupies the first and the second floors of half of the building of the palace.

    Fontainebleau - Napoleon's throne
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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Palace Chapel

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 21, 2006

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    The chapel of the Sacred Trinity settled down in a gallery of the palace. There are apartments of Napoleon at the ground floor (a throne hall, a boardroom, Maria Antoinette's room, a hall of Lui the Thirteenth, a hall of Lui the Ninth Sacred, a ballroom) .

    Palace Chapel
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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Chateau de Fontainebleau

    by Dabs Updated Oct 11, 2011

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    While Napoleon I is the most closely associated with the Chateau de Fontainebleau, you can see evidence throughout the palace of the other rulers who used the chateau as a refuge from Paris. Although the first chateau was built here in the 1100s, Francois I was the king that converted the hunting lodge here into a palace in the 1500s, you can see Francois' symbol, a salamander, throughout. Henri II left his mark on the ballroom, you can see the intertwined initials there, the H&D is for his mistress Diane de Poitiers and H&C for his wife Catherine de Medici. Napoleon's symbol was a simple N.

    Fontainebleau was a bit neglected during the years of Louis XIV-Louis XVI, Louis XIV after all had the magnificent Versailles which even today remains the most impressive chateau in the Ile de France. The chateau found importance again under the reign of Napoleon I, his influence can be seen more than any of the other rulers who lived or visited here, he restored Fontainebleau after the French Revolution when it's collections were sold off. After being forced to abdicate, Napoleon survived a suicide attempt by poisoning at the Chateau. On April 20, 1814 he bid farewell to his Imperial Guard from the horseshoe staircase in the chateau's Cour d’Honneur courtyard before being exiled to the island of Elba.

    The visit to the grand apartments of the chateau is currently 10€ (the website says 8€ but my receipt says 10€) and includes an audioguide. The visit is quite extensive compared to other chateaux, I think it took us a couple of hours to tour the inside.

    The chateau is closed on Tuesdays. Under 18 is free, under 26 is free if you come from the EU, included on the Paris Museum Pass.

    Queen Francois I gallery Napoleon Ballroom

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Palace

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    The castle appeared in Fontainebleau near 1100, and served as a residence to kings of Capeting dynasty. It got a present view of a palace in style of Renessanse after 1527 at Francisk the First. Italian architects were invited for this purpose. Fontainebleau was used only in autumn for hunting after construction of Versailles.

    You can watch my 2 min 04 sec Video Fontainebleau Palace out of my Youtube channel.

    Font-bleau- Palace-Court yard of the White horse Fontainebleau - Palace
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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Caleche rides - try the olde horse and carriage

    by angiebabe Written Sep 27, 2007

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    As advertised these horse and carriage rides will take adults for 5 euro and children for 4 euro - makes an interesting and relaxing way to see the grounds of Fontainebleu - which are quite extensive - and imagine back to the days of when this was the transport of the day.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    The gardens of Fontainebleau

    by Dabs Updated Oct 10, 2011

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    The gardens at Fontainebleau are free to visit even if you decide not to visit the interior of the chateau.

    The largest part of the gardens is the Grand Parterre, the largest formal garden in Europe which was created during the reign of Louis XIV by André Le Nôtre and Louis Le Vau. We heard Le Nôtre's name several times on this trip, the gardens at Vaux le Vicomte, Chantilly and Versailles were among the many gardens that he designed or collaborated on.

    The Jardin de Diane is a tree filled area with a statue of the goddess of hunting, take a close look at the fountain and see that the streams of water coming from the dogs are a bit unusual.

    The English garden dates back to the time of Francois I, it was redesigned during the reign of Napoleon I. It wasn't very remarkable, mostly trees and grass.

    Grand Parterre Grand canal in the Grand Parterre An unusual source of water Jardin de Diane

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Boating on the carp pond

    by angiebabe Written Sep 27, 2007

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    This looks a bit like a tourist trap but I am sure for the romantic inclined or those with children this might be rather nice especially on a nice day.

    The views looking to the dramatic big buildings around Fontainebleu would probably look rather good from across the pond in a boat too I imagine.

    A little expensive though at 10 euro for half an hour.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    In the Château

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 30, 2015

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    Since all the old furniture was removed during the French Revolution, what we see now was acquired mainly during the nineteenth century, or from antique dealers in the twentieth.

    According to the Château’s website, the interior of the Château as we see it today looks “more or less as Napoleon III and Eugenie left it in 1868, with the exception of Napoleon I’s inner apartment, which is shown as it would have been in the First Empire, and Marie Antoinette’s boudoir, which looks more or less as it would have in the 18th century.”

    Large parts of the wall and ceiling decorations from earlier centuries have survived and have been carefully cleaned and restored.

    Directions: Aerial view and photo on monumentum.fr
    Phone: 01 60 71 50 70
    Website: http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/The-sovereign-Grands-Appartements?lang=en


    Next: Tapestries

    The Fran��ois I Gallery Ballroom Ballroom Ceiling Bas-reliefs
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    Bedrooms

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 28, 2015

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    As in Versailles and other royal palaces, the ceremonial bedrooms of the King and Queen are important parts of the Royal Apartments.

    In Fontainebleau, Napoléon continued this tradition while he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814.

    Second photo: Bedroom in the Sovereign Grand Apartments.

    Third photo: Anne of Austria (1601–1666), was actually a Spanish princess (not Austrian, despite the name) who was married to the French King Louis XIII when they were both fourteen years old. After several miscarriages (and years of neglect by her uninterested husband), she finally gave birth to a son, the future Louis XIV, in 1638.

    Directions: Aerial view and photo on monumentum.fr
    Website: http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/The-sovereign-Grands-Appartements?lang=en


    Next: Municipal theater

    Room of the Emperor Bedroom in the Sovereign Grand Apartments Bedroom of Anne of Austria
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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Visit the Château

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 30, 2015

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    For a self-guided visit of the Château (Palace), they offer a “Grands Appartements” ticket which includes admission to the Papal Apartment, the Renaissance Rooms, the Chapel of Saint Saturnin, the sovereign Grands Appartements, the Diana Gallery and the Napoleon I Museum. As of 2015, this costs eleven Euros, or nine Euros for those who get a reduction.

    There is also a video guide available for an additional three Euros. (I neglected to get the video guide in Fontainebleau, but I have used a similar one in Maintenon and found it very informative.)

    In addition, various guided tours are on offer (guided by a real person, not a machine), in both French and English.

    Second photo: This horseshoe-shaped stairway, which was first built in the 16th century and then re-built for Louis XIII in the 17th, is something of a trademark of the Fontainebleau Palace. Currently it looks rather bedraggled and could use some repairs.

    Third photo: A corner of the Château.

    Fourth and fifth photos: The Château and the adjoining pond.

    Directions: Aerial view and photo on monumentum.fr
    Phone: 01 60 71 50 70
    Website: http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/spip.php?lang=en


    Next: In the Château

    Main gate Horseshoe staircase Corner of the Ch��teau Pond and Ch��teau Ch��teau from across the pond
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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Tapestries

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 28, 2015

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    The Château of Fontainebleau has several large and impressive tapestries on display, especially in the Grand Apartments of the Sovereigns.

    It took years of patient and highly skilled labor to make tapestries like these, as I found out when I toured the Gobelin manufactory in Paris in the summer of 2013. A few weeks later I had the privilege of viewing the large collection of sixteenth-century Renaissance tapestries in the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre in Paris in the company of VirtualTourist member breughel, a connoisseur of paintings and tapestries.

    Directions: Aerial view and photo on monumentum.fr
    Website: http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/Les-Grands-Appartements-des


    Next: Bedrooms

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