Monday, October 25, 2010

Chateau de Fontainebleau

Sunday we headed to Fontainebleau.  This was an adventure as we had to negotiate the Gare de Lyon and take a train.  The original castle on the grounds dates back to 1137.   Saint Louis founded a convent on the site in 1259 and the chapel still remains.  In 1528 Francois I had buildings rebuilt on the medieval foundations. Various Kings have added on to the structure through the years.  Per the guide,"Fontainebleau was the sovereign's retreat of choice for 8 centuries.  The architecture and the decor bear witness to this uninterrupted devotion."  Royals have been born there and Napoleon abdicated his thrown there.  There is also a small Napoleon Museum.
It is out of Paris and not a lot of tourist were around which made it really nice.

Napoleon Museum

Napoleon's field bed

Napoleon's hat and coat

His field kit

The chateau

This was a hall of painted plates.  Each plate commemorated an event in the kings life.

Hall built by Francois I

Hall built by Henry IV

The Diana Gallery (goddess Diana)  This now houses over 16,000 volumes of books belonging to Napoleon

Marie Antoinette's bedchamber

Marie's mother of pearl desk.  This photo does not do it justice.  It is beautiful.

The room where Napoleon signed his abdication papers. 

Thomas Becket consecrated this chapel for Louis VII

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