Hunting at Fontainebleau!

So let me bring you back to one of my fav castles, and the first ever visited in France many years ago. As family is nearby, i have gone several times and friend of the castle! This time will tell you about a special event as have many posts on the property and city already in my blog.

Of course, I will be talking about the Fontainebleau castle and the special event held for the hunters in honor of Saint Hubert, the patron saint of the hunters. This is a special event in an unfortunately complicated subject so not much publicity until its time. The time is Toussaints or All Saint’s Day in November or thereabout.

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 Obelis k towards the lookout of Maintenon .



As said, Saint Hubert, patron Saint of hunters, reminds visitors each year that Fontainebleau was a hunting residence. The Galerie des Cerfs, the Chasse apartment and the Cour Ovale courtyard are open exceptionally for the occasion. Each year is a bit different but mostly is first in the morning a city tour of a team with horns. Later you enjoy a guided tour of the Galerie des Cerfs for free meet at the Cour Ovale; visit to the Chasses apartment again free from the Cour Ovale. A solemn beautiful Mass and blessing of nature is held at the Cour Ovale or Cour Mathurins with the presence of horses and dogs in the gardens. A presentation of falconry, concert of horns, pony ride and harnesses of horn blowers. The return of horses and dogs from hunting spreading all over the gardens and castle courtyards, and a cold cure at the Cour Ovale to end the festivities.



Just to remind you or tell you, that Fontainebleau is the cradle of horse racing in France and has carried a long continuos tradition despite the hardships of wars.  If you have time, I recommend to partake on another day a day at the races at the Hippodrome de Solle racecourse. The Hippodrome de la Solle is one of the oldest racecourses in France and hosts horserace meetings. Under the rein of king Louis XVI, the dukes of Artois and Chartres organised the first horse race at Fontainebleau in November 1776 in the presence of the king, who had come to hunt.

More info on the racecourse of Solle in French here: Official hippodrome de Solle at Fontainebleau

More information on the equestrian events and sights here are in the tourist office of Fontainebleau here: Tourist office of Fontainebleau on equestrian

For general information on visits to Fontainebleau stay alert and updated on the tourist office in English here: Tourist office of Fontainebleau

And of course, the official Fontainebleau castle in English: Official Fontainebleau castle


And there you , if you are into nature, horses, racing, history and great ambiance schedule a visit at this time, it is worth it me think. Enjoy the wonders of Fontainebleau, in dept 77 Seine-et-Marne, Ïle de France region!

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

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