After enjoying the elegant and bustling Paris, you should definitely join the 11 million lovers of tranquil beauty who annually visit the small French town of the "beautiful fountain" - Fontainebleau. The main point of attraction of this town, located just 55 kilometers south of the French capital, is the Fontainebleau Palace - the residence of the French kings and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The richly decorated interiors of the palace and the large manicured garden will give visitors an unforgettable aesthetic pleasure. But the city of Bellifontenes is famous for more than one palace.
Palais Fontainebleau: luxury for kings
Palace of Fontainebleau, rebuilt in the style of Italian Mannerism under Francis I, as often happens, began its history from the hunting grounds of King Louis Saint. But today it is hard to believe, because not every palace can be proud of such luxurious decoration. A riot of colors, among which gilding prevails, artsy decor and antique furniture fascinate visitors. Each room of the palace is beautiful in its own way, but the gallery of Francis I with its amazing frescoes deserves special attention; the hall of Henry II filled with golden light and the chapel of the Holy Trinity, which was decorated by French and Flemish masters.
The halls of the times of Napoleon will also surprise you, especially the Throne Room, the study and the Red Salon, where the emperor abdicated the throne. In Napoleon's bedroom, you should pay attention to the tiny bed of the emperor. And the growth of Napoleon has nothing to do with it! Fearing for his life, the emperor preferred to sleep while sitting in order to be always on the alert.
A walk in the surrounding park will be a perfect end to your tour of the palace complex. Here everyone can retire to the chamber garden of Diana, watch the fuss of carps in the pond of the English Garden, or think about the eternal, surrounded by marble sculptures, contemplating the calm water surface of the Grand Canal.
EXCURSIONS IN FONTENBLO
The city's attractions
After an eventful stroll through the Palace, visitors usually head to the Fontainebleau Forest, which borders the city on all sides. In this famous forest, you can not only take a leisurely stroll along the well-groomed paths, but also practice rock climbing, because there are often huge boulders of bizarre shapes and small grottoes, where you can see drawings from the Stone Age.
Despite its enormous size, the forest is very “convenient” for walking, since each path is signed and contains landmarks in the form of arrows and signs. And at the end of the day, from the highest point of the forest, you can admire the city, immersed in the rays of the setting sun.
Fans of French poetry will certainly be interested in the house-museum of the famous French poet Stephane Mallarmé. The boatman's house, where in the summer months the Symbolist poet loved to relax and create, is located five kilometers from the Palace of Fontainebleau in a picturesque area - on the banks of the Seine opposite the Forest of Fontainebleau.
On the second floor of the museum, the poet's apartment was restored not only with the furniture of that time and the writer's personal belongings, but also works of art by his friends Edouard Manet and Paul Gauguin. The first floor of the museum welcomes guests with thematic art exhibitions that change periodically. And the garden, restored in 1992, will delight the eye with a wide variety of colors.
Many interesting things await tourists in the streets of the town itself. Walking from the Palace of Fontainebleau along Rue Denecourt, you should pay attention to the beautiful theater building. Further, passing by a cheerful carousel, travelers find themselves on the main street Rue Grande, where their eyes are attracted by the elegant city hall building. From here you can see another attraction - the Church of Saint-Louis, known for the fact that the construction of the church began during the reign of Marie de Medici, and was completed only in 1868.
History buffs can visit the Museum of Military History and the Prison Museum, which contains letters and notes from famous prisoners such as the Marquis de Sade.
But you will be able to feel the spirit of real France on the neat Rue des Sablons, replete with typical French houses, cafes and restaurants.
How to get to Fontainebleau from Paris
A train leaves from Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau Avon. Travel time will be about 40 minutes. For travel, the Navigo pass is valid, as well as the Mobilis day pass (zones 1-5).