Archive for February 25th, 2020

February 25, 2020

A stair for an emperor, Fontainebleau!

And I will settle in to tell you some fables of a wonderful property that know very well and is very sentimental for us. Of course, as usual, I have written before on several parts of it but feel needs more and have more. The equisential property of the kings and emperors of France surely deserve it.

Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful beautiful and architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau, where else! in France, better for me Seine et Marne dept 77 of the ïle de France. Allow me to tell you a bit more on the Cour du Cheval Blanc and its most famous spot the escalier Fer-à-cheval.

The Cour du Cheval Blanc, (courtyard of the white horse) also known as the Cour des Adieux (courtyard of the goodbye) or Cour d’Honneur (courtyard of honor) is in a rectangular form, was an old poultry yard then a service courtyard, which very early became a parade court. It acquired its name thanks to a plaster cast of the equestrian statue of Marc Aurèle at the Capitol, installed between 1560 and 1570, disappeared in 1626, and of which a small slab, in the central alley, recalls the location. This courtyard was originally closed by four wings of the castle, the west wing of which, known as the aile de Ferrare or Ferrara wing, was destroyed and replaced by an honor grid with Napoleonic decor such as golden lead eagles, ornaments around the entrance portal , etc made in 1808.

Fontainebleau

The buildings at the back of the courtyard of the white horse retain, from the reign of François I, the sandstone and coated rubble stone constructions, adorned with pilasters and dormers with triangular pediments. From left to right: the pavillon des Armes or   Arms pavilion where the Royal armory was found, the tour de l’Horloge or Clock tower, pavillon des Orgues or the Organs pavilion, the three neighboring spans, and the fourth pavilion. At the level of the pavillon de l’Horloge or Clock pavilion, we can see the Chapelle de la Trinité or Trinity Chapel

The North wing, built around 1530, known as the aile des Ministres or Ministers’ wing, was greatly restored in the 19C. The central pavilion is decorated with a salamander , a 1878 reconstruction, and the fireplaces bear the figure of François I. Opposite, the l’aile Louis XV or Louis XV wing which replaces, in the 18C, the sumptuous gallery of Ulysses designed by Primatice, the ground floor of which housed shops rented to the privileged merchants who followed the Court. At the southern corner of the entrance gate remains the pavilion which shelters, on the garden side, the grotte des Pins or the cave of Pines. The pillars consist of four rustic Atlanta’s as captives of the rock, put out of harm’s way, and its three arcades sketch triangular pediments.

The famous escalier Fer-à-cheval (horseshoe stair) was built in 1550 by Philibert Delorme, but was redone between 1632 and 1634 by Jean Androuet du Cerceau. It has an appearance comparable to that of the Château d’ Anet (see this post), also created by Delorme.

Fontainebleau

Built at the request of Louis XIII between 1632 and 1634 ,the Fer-à-cheval staircase, with atypical shapes, allows to stage the access to the François I gallery and at the Grands Appartements of the castle. From the reign of king Louis XIV, the staircase served as a grandiose setting to welcome princesses coming to marry a son of France such as the Duchess of Burgundy in 1697, Marie Leszczynska in 1725, Helène de Mecklenburg-Schwerinen1837. On April 1814 that the Horseshoe stair becomes legendary and is definitively inscribed as the emblem of Fontainebleau by becoming the theater of the famous farewells of Napoleon I to his guard.

Fontainebleau

Some webpages for practical information and history to follow

Castle of Fontainebleau for practical information on visits

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the history and heritage

And there you go folks, an absolute must to visit while coming to France and a must for all lovers of France on its history. I am a proud Friends of the Castle for many years!  Friends of the Castle of FontainebleauFriends of the Castle of Fontainebleau

Hope you have enjoy the post and I thank you for reading me. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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February 25, 2020

Carps and Fontainebleau!

And I will settle in to tell you some fables of a wonderful property that know very well and is very sentimental for us. Of course, as usual, I have written before on several parts of it but feel needs more and have more. The equisential property of the kings and emperors of France surely deserve it.

Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful beautiful and architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau, where else! in France, better for me Seine et Marne dept 77 of the ïle de France region. Allow me to tell you a bit more on the Etang aux Carpes or Carps pond.

The park of the Château de Fontainebleau has inside one of the most popular spot ,  the Etang aux Carpes or carp pond. In this pond, three hundred year old carps live, of which around sixty specimens were given to King Henry IV by Charles of Lorraine.

Fontainebleau

The Etang aux Carpes, was first fitted out by François Ier, who dressed its banks in masonry in the 1530s. The tiny little island at the center of this place relaxation and pleasure was endowed with a pavilion in the 1660s, at the request of Louis XIV. This small building, which can only be accessed by boat, was restored between 1811 and 1813 by Napoleon I, who gave it the visible appearance on the glass plate. The legend that the latter carries calls it “the secret”, but this name, if it gives a good understanding of the isolation of this little retreat, is not usual.

Fontainebleau

As its name suggests, this little 17C pavillions madness,in the middle of the pond,  built by Louis Le Vau, was placed on an island, in the middle of the Etang aux Carpes, opposite the Cour de la Fontaine. After a period of abandonment in the 18C, the pavilion was enriched under the Empire by an interior decoration.  One of the most romantic spots in the whole property and many photos by millions over the years.

Fontainebleau

In Summer or good weather period, check for times ,you can even do pedal boating in the pond and it is highly recommended; keep the time for it. Here is more in English: Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the boats of the Carps pond

What you need to know to come here in English is at the official webpage of the Château de Fontainebleau: Fontainebleau castle on practical information for visits

And more from the tourist office on this a huge historical chunks of my belle France, the Château de FontainebleauTourist office of Fontainebleau on the Castle history

And there you go folks, an absolute must to visit while coming to France and a must for all lovers of France on its history. I am a proud Friends of the Castle for many years!  Friends of the Castle of FontainebleauFriends of the Castle of Fontainebleau

Hope you have enjoy the post and I thank you for reading me. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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February 25, 2020

Curiosities at Fontainebleau!!!

And I will settle in to tell you some fables of a wonderful property that know very well and is very sentimental for us. Of course, as usual, I have written before on several parts of it but feel needs more and have more. The equisential property of the kings and emperors of France surely deserve it.

Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful beautiful and architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau, where else! in France, better for me Seine et Marne dept 77 of the ïle de France region. Allow me to tell you a bit more on the curiosities of the Castle seldom seeing by visitors.

The Cour des Mathurins is a wonderful courtyard where many events are held including the hunting chase of Fontainebleau. It is marvelous to walk in it !! It is located to the north of the castle building, and has served as a service court since the 16C. Its name comes from the first inhabitants of the place, the Trinitarian religious, also called Mathurins. It is now fitted out as an administrative parking lot. Also, the entrance for persons with mobility impairing to the castle. A nice way to go in indeed folks. Note, this is the spot where the St Hubert hunters rallye is done and wonderful carriages , horses, and hunting dogs go out into the Forest of Fontainebleau!!

Fontainebleau

These are open for the public but can be reserved for events or private affairs. Lucky to have seen them and photos to show it.

Former rooms and anterooms of kings, the Salons Saint-Louis halls are transformed, for an evening, into reception lounges to host dinners and cocktails, in the heart of the castle, in the ancient medieval keep. Access is via the Cour des Mathurins, entrance located at rue Denecourt, opposite the municipal theater ( see this post).

And if  you are into events , maybe think of privatising these rooms, info in French here: Castle of Fontainebleau on private rooms Saint Louis

Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

Some additional webpages as usual from me to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Castle of Fontainebleau practical information

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the castle history

And there you go folks, an absolute must to visit while coming to France and a must for all lovers of France on its history. I am a proud Friends of the Castle for many years!  Friends of the Castle of FontainebleauFriends of the Castle of Fontainebleau

Hope you have enjoy the post and I thank you for reading me. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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