Chapel St Saturnin, Fontainebleau!

Well what can I say if not said before! The Château de Fontainebleau is unique in France, Europe, the World! A masterpiece of architecture and history and we love it. Need to say proudly, the first castle ever visited in France, home of my dear wife’s region who proudly took me here first when we met. It has been a love affair ever since 1990.

I have written several posts on Fontainebleau but there is always more, I have to tell you about a missing piece in my story the Chapel of Saint Saturnin.

Of course, a bit on the Château de Fontainebleau , my Fontainebleau.

There is no other Royal Castle in France that can boast of having hosted 34 sovereigns from Louis VI the Fat to Napoleon III. It was Napoleon I who expressed it best, “This is the real home of Kings, the house of centuries”, he said in Saint Helena, remembering this place he had loved so much. The Palace thus has more than 1,500 rooms deployed in the heart of 14 hectares of park and gardens. Fontainebleau is therefore the only royal and imperial castle inhabited without interruption for seven centuries, and its throne room is the only one which is still visible in France. The castle of Fontainebleau is the only sovereign residence fully preserved. The castle still harbors collections of furniture, paintings and works of art of exceptional richness and magnitude. Covering an area of 14 hectares, the large Parterre done in 1660-1664 by André Le Nôtre is the largest in Europe. The Donjon is probably the oldest building in the castle ,before 1137. It was transformed several times, notably during the reign of François Ier. Therefore, its architecture represents several styles.

And the feature presentation of the Chapelle haute de Saint Saturnin!

This Chapel of Saint Saturnin, also saw in 1606 the baptism of Louis XIII in a basin, a masterpiece of Islamic art. The chapel is on two levels, on the second level is the organ gallery. Raphael’s painting “The Holy Family” today in the Louvre (as usual taken to Paris) previously decorated in the chapel. If the general chronology of the Chapel of Saint-Saturnin is still uncertain, we know that the high chapel sheltered the baptism of Elisabeth of France, daughter of Henri II, king of France, and Catherine de Médicis, was as a wife of king Felipe II of Spain, Queen Consort of Spain, Sicily and Naples, Duchess of Burgundy, Milan, Brabant, Luxembourg and Limburg, Countess of Flanders, Hainaut and Countess Palatine of Burgundy.

Fontainebleau

The High Chapel of Saint Saturnin is the oldest chapel in that of the Oval courtyard, placed under the name of Saint Saturnin. It is a double chapel, rebuilt on two superimposed levels from the reign of François Ier: on the ground floor, a lower chapel is dedicated to the servants and, upstairs, on one level with the apartments, a high chapel is reserved for the king and his family. The upper chapel, visible in the is a Renaissance oratory which housed, until the 17C, the famous  Holy Family of Raphael. Designed to be widely lit, it has a box vault and a lantern diffusing a directional light towards the center of the sanctuary. After receiving an admirable decoration designed by Philibert Delorme and a marble organ gallery, it was finally included in the wings of the Salle du Bal or Ballroom and the Tiber or Tibre. Its dimensions did not allow to welcome the crowds of the big festivals, a second chapel was necessary. Gradually unusual for the benefit of the Trinity Chapel, it experienced the astonishing destiny of becoming, in the 19C, the library of Napoleon I.

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The official Château de Fontainebleau on the Royal Chapels and St Saturnin in French: Château de Fontainebleau on the Royal Chapels

And now there you go another wonderful spot on a hugely wonderful castle/palace of Fontainebleau of my belle well Seine et Marne dept 77 and France! Hope you enjoy it as we did/do! And got another photo from my vault found it!

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

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