The Chateau was started way back in the 12th Century and was used as a hunting lodge for the Kings of France. Francois I was the first to really renovate the place and gave it the style you see today. Henri II and his wife Catherine de Medici were the next pair to upgrade the chateau. After the Revolution, a lot of furniture/paintings/etc were sold to finance the new Republic. Fast forward a century and Napoleon lived/worked/and was under house arrest here. Napoleon III also lived here. I loved Fontainbleau! It was not as touristy or as crowded as Versailles, and the gardens were stunning. Got my nature fix!
Wing of the Palace
I LOVED the staircase!
A wedding party was taking pictures on the steps!! Tellement mignon! J'adore. But I would not want to have any ugly tourists in the background of my pics.
Love 4 poster beds
When you are impressed by a room, remember to look at the ceiling. Then you will be more impressed.
One of the Grand Salons
Royal Symbols carved in the wall panels
I loved this gallery! All the wood gave it such a cozy feeling.
Decorated wood beams
Painting of Napoleon pretending he is a Greek/Roman god...
Another Grand Salon
This one was built by Henri II, you could tell because he put "H"s everywhere.
Also remember to look at the floors in fancy rooms. Chances are the floors are pretty fancy as well.
Balcony for watching all the royal drama that goes on at grand fetes.
Now that is what I call a fireplace
Frescoes on the Walls
Ceiling of one of the chapels
Dome of the Chapel
Gallery of Diana
Classy Sitting Room
Queen's Bedroom. Marie-Antoinette stayed here occasionally!
Napoleon's Throne. One of the few surviving royal thrones in Europe. Please note the Eagles and the "N"s on the columns. Yay symbolism!
Yep, those are stairs to climb into bed.
Main Royal Chapel
Statue of Francois I
Lovely lake with a lovely pavilion!
The pavilion reminded me of the "16 going on 17" scene from The Sound of Music
Courtyard in front of the lake
Des jardins anglais
mimicking the statue. my favorite chateau activity.
So many paths to explore....
View of the lake, chateau and pavilion
A bad tempered swan
Just when you think swans are classy....