La Salle de la Belle Cheminée, Fontainebleau!

I am back now in sentimental area and property. This is difficult to write as many wonderful moments with my dear late wife Martine visiting the castle and town of Fontainebleau in her region and becoming Friends of the Castle. However, drawing on my photos I like to bring them to life for memories’ sake. Hope you enjoy them and do visit the castle is a must while in France. Several post about it in my blog.

Let me tell you about a part not open to the public but had several meetings there and as the castle is renovated maybe will be open one day. The piece in question is the room of the beautiful chimney and its relations or in French la Salle de la Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau!

The Salle de la Belle Cheminée (or the beautiful chimney room) is one of the works commissioned by king Henri IV. Above the Belle Cheminée, lies a bas-relief of Henri IV on horseback representing the King on his illustrious white steed.

The wing of the Belle Cheminée, also known as the aile(wing)  de l’Ancienne Comédie or wing of the old comedy, built between 1565 and 1570 in stone of Saint-Leu, derives its name from the chimney that occupied the great hall in the 18C. It was taken down and her sculptures were scattered. The name of old comedy comes from the theater that king Louis XV had made. First known as the Salle de la Belle Cheminée from 1597 to 1601, it was called a theater from 1725, on the occasion of the marriage of king Louis XV; It was destroyed in 1856 by a fire.  The monumental exterior staircase has two Italian ramps. It makes the connection with the cour de la Fontaine (courtyard of the fountain).

Fontainebleau

fontainebleau

La salle de la belle cheminée et moi!

Commissioned by king Henri IV in 1597 and finished in 1601, the Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau was dismembered in 1725 (see above the theater). The fragments were taken in the 19C into two other chimneys in the castle. Other fragments are in reserve at Fontainebleau. The Louvre museum presents the central frieze which separated the upper part forming mantle from the fireplace.

It is now in a theater setup for meetings and the chimney still there , still call the beautiful chimney room and one that hoping to be shown to the public if not already ::)

Other rooms in relation to the Belle Cheminée are worth mentioning on this post.

In the Salle des Gardes (room of the guards) you will notice two great figures that surround the chimney coming from the famous Belle Cheminée by then disappeared, sumptuous carved monument. to the glory of the victorious king of 7 meters high,by  6 meters wide. On the left is the allegorical figure of Peace; it lowers, to smother it, the torch of war, reminding us that by the edit of Nantes (1598), king Henri IV had put an end to the civil religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. On the right, the allegory seems to be Obedience;  a young woman is about to pass a harness to a lion. The good King Henri was indeed, against any golden legend, an autocratic sovereign, reinforcing the Royal authority and announcing the absolute monarchy of his grandson, Louis XIV. The remainder of the chimney, of a more grey hue, was carved in 19C.

And to continue the circuit of king Henri IV born at the Château de Fontainebleau.

In the Chapel of Saint Saturnin, you will see in the décor of the coffered vault, the figure of king Henri IV and that of queen Marie de Medicis. In the first room of Saint Louis, in the upper part of the paneling, paintings by Ambroise Dubois from the Cabinet of the King and that of the Queen. In the second room of Saint Louis, an equestrian portrait of the King, coming from the Belle-Cheminée. In the Salon Louis XIII (room), in which he was born, you will see bouquets painted by Jean Dhoey. In the Chapel of the Trinity, above the galleries, the arms of France are attached to those of Navarre. The décor of the chapel was commissioned by king Henri IV. In the Galerie aux Cerfs (deers), the bronze reproduction of the Diane Huntress who adorns the fountain of the Jardin de Diane that runs along this gallery (the original marble is in the Louvre museum), a bronze reproduction of the Lacoon (the original marble is in the Vatican Museum.)

The Jeu de Paume room, whose entrance is to the right of the Jardin de Diane, was rebuilt after a fire, according to the plans of the hall intended by king Henri IV. In the Henri IV part of the Castle, the Cour des Offices are under the porch, on the ceiling the figures of the King Henri IV and Catherine of Médicis.

Some webpages to help you further plan your trip here are

Chateau de Fontainebleau and the salle de la Belle Cheminée

Chateau de Fontainebleau and the reign of Henri IV

Again, this is special, a must to visit while in France. So much history of France and Europe is here, as well as loving architecture details as above. You ought it to yourselves to visit the Château de Fontainebleau!

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

 

 

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2 Comments to “La Salle de la Belle Cheminée, Fontainebleau!”

  1. How special it must have been to be a Friend of the Castle, as if living in Versailles wasn’t good enough! Good on you! And yes, it is still on my list and hope to visit soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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