Archive for March 29th, 2019

March 29, 2019

Jardins de Fontainebleau or its gardens!

It was the first castle that I visited in France way back in 1990 when my dear late wife Martine took me there as it was her native area. Its still the nostalgic favorite ,visited several times over the years. The luxury and architecture of it is inmense, but a lot of folks missed the wonderful gardens. They are magnificent. So here I am to tell you a bit about it.

The jardins or gardens of the Chateau or castle of Fontainebleau, are in the department of Seine et Marne or no 77 east of Paris in the region of Île de France. You get here by train from Gare de Lyon in Paris direction de Montargis, Montereau, or Laroche-Migennes, to the Fontainebleau-Avon train station and there take bus line 1 direction Les Lilas until stop /arrêt « Château ». You can come by road from Paris on the A6  (Porte d’Orléans or Porte d’Italie). Parking is available across right from the castle or at pl d’Armes or at the next street over  Rue de Ferrare.

Fontainebleau

To the south of the castle lies the  grand parterre (11 ha or 27 acres) or big garden designed by none other than  André Le Nôtre, and it is the most extensive that he had done, a French garden style or jardin à la française. It was created from 1660 to 1664. By the time of  Napoléon Ier, the terraces were encircled with lime trees.  The English style garden or jardin à la Anglaise took formed from 1812 with an artificial stream, and long alleys, butches of trees,and isolated trees of various species ,and sculptures . Some of the current trees dates back from the middle of the 19C and are from the time of those planted under Napoleon. The jardin de Diane are from work done under Napoleon as well as Louis Philippe that were done in a picturesque style . They have as principal sculpture that of the Fountain of Diane that, also, gave name to the garden. The gardens are free admission and are open from  May to September  9h-19h.  March April and October from  9h-18h, and from November to February from  9h-17h.

Fontainebleau

Other interesting things to see is the Grotte des Pins or cave of pins encrusted in a wall by the wing of the galerie d’Ulysse looking out and done under king  Louis XV. The Pavillon de l’Etangs built in 1662 by Le Vau looking out to the Grand Parterre done by Le Nôtre. It was restored in 1807  when the jardin  Anglais was done. Then you have the huge Parc or park that goes beyond the castle far back, it has 130 hectares or 321 acres of land all the way to the bassin des Cascades ,and the east the royal castle.  From the village of Avon it crosses a principal road for access to the castle. It current configuration is due to the organisation of the alleys, cascades , and the creation of the Canal of 1,2 kms (0.75 mile)  under king  Henri IV by 1606-1609. You, also, will see the Fountain Bliaud, in the middle of the garden in a small forest , the fountain also call Belle-Eau  from the 16C and the one that gives the name to the castle in old French as in Fontaine -bleau or bliaud.

 Fontainebleau

You have the possibility of riding in a horse carriage the extend of the gardens, from Easter to All Saints day every day from 10h30 – 13h and 14h30 – 17h without interruption the weekends on depart from the Porte Dorée of the castle. You can ask for a ride into the forest as well . Information at the  « Les Attelages de Forêt de Fontainebleau » 66, rue Gambetta , at Avon. More info: Horse wagon rides in Castle and forest of Fontainebleau in French

Fontainebleau
Every year in November you can participate in the blessing of the hunt or the Feast of Saint Hubert, patron saint of the hunters. It is wonderful indeed, and we have participated of course. You start with a Mass by 9h30 or so, at the cour Ovale ,and then by 11h or so the Vin d’Honneur or drink by the Porte Dorée, and then by 12h or so the depart for the hunting in the forest  near the Obelisk towards the look of Maintenon . The current information will be told closer to the date on the Castle or city tourism webpage.

fontainebleau

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Fontainebleau castle on gardens

Official Tourist office of Fontainebleau

Official tourist office dept 77 Seine et Marne on Fontainebleau

For info as I am the official Friends of Fontainebleau site

There you go another wonderful gem of my belle France awaits for you and yours. Enjoy the Jardins de Fontainebleau or its gardens!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

Tags: ,
March 29, 2019

Fontainebleau,King of Rome!

Once again for my memories , the first castle ever visited in France because it was near my dear late wife Martine native town. We have been here several times and are friends of the castle members. Well, a while back  ,I went back to Fontainebleau, to see the exposition of the Le Roi de Rome was going on.

Le Roi de Rome, un enfant, un prince it is call in French. It is about the son of Napoleon I, who was so in love with all things Roman, that he created and bestowed the title of king of Rome on his only male son.  The son was born on March 20, 1811 at the Palais des Tuileries in Paris (was set on fire by communards in 1871 and raze by the city of Paris in 1884, no longer there, but a group is trying to rebuilt it on private funds).

fontainebleau

He never set foot in Fontainebleau as his father and later uncle (Napoleon III) did, because of the turmoils of the time.  When Josephine could not provide Napoleon I a child because of old age he decided to divorce her ,and marry the sister of the tsar Alexandre I, marrying Marie-Louise of Austria at age 18 yrs old who was sacrificed  by her father the emperor François II. He married her by procuration in Vienna, brought her over to Compiegne on March 27 1810, and spent the night with her there before the religious ceremony that took place later at the Salon Carré in the Louvre, Paris.

fontainebleau

The title of king of Rome or roi du Rome was to tell the Pope Pie VII that the new king was above him, as Rome was one of the States of the French empire.  At the same time taken away the power of the emperor of the Germanic Holy Roman empire  by given the new born the title of king of the Romans.

The baptisme was done on June 9 1811 at Notre Dame  Cathedral of Paris. The June 16 1811 a bal is organised in the Palais des Tuileries and again another one at the chateau de Saint Cloud (today also lost in history, but still a nice garden) . Important work was done in the Palais des Tuileries to host the child, the Pavillon de Marsan was rename the appartement des Enfants de France. He,also, lived at chateau de Meudon in april of 1812, Compiégne in the summer of 1811, Rambouillet in 1812, where a mansion was built call the palais du roi de Rome still in existance. A castle was to be built in the Chaillot area of Paris right by the pont d’Iena but the wars and funds were never enough to do so.

Without his father, and after the revolt first in 1814 and then in 1815, the child Napoleon François Joseph Charles, Prince of Parma, and King of Rome refuses to leave the Palais des Tuileries. Napoleon I release his title in favor of his son as Napoleon II, but the enemy refuse the deal. The child is made to run, first Rambouillet, then Blois, and Orléans, finally he leaves France on May 2 1814 by Belfort at age 3, he never will return.  At Vienna with his grandfather he was given the title of Duke of Reichstadt, his link with France or French visitors is prohibited. However tuberculosis takes him in 1832 at age 21.

The photos in this exposition were prohibited even without flash, the material presented is so precious but very much worth your trip if ever again it is shown. Instead I will bring new photos of the Chateau de Fontainebleau.

fontainebleau

There some info on the Napoleon museum here: Official Chateau de Fontainebleau on the Napoleon Museum

Enjoy it for its history,its architecture,and its wonderful gardens. Fontainebleau is France, Europe and the World to be understood.

And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: