Saint-Louis Church ,Fontainebleau!

So here I am bringing back lovely monument of my belle France. I was reviewing my Fontainebleau posts and even if several ,there is something missing always with so much to see. I like to tell you a deserving bit more on the Saint Louis Church of Fontainebleau!

I have walked this town back and forward over the years , and enjoy very much visited, as even Friends of the Castle myself. However, even if passed by it many times I have done a post on the Church of Saint Louis and it should be mention. Here is my take on it. hope you like it.

The Saint-Louis Church is located in Fontainebleau ,Seine-et-Marne dept 77 region of ïle de France. Exactly at 2 rue de la Paroisse, right off corner of Rue Grande , not far from the castle; It is part of the diocese of Meaux. The Saint-Louis Church was built between 1611 and 1614 then considerably altered under the Second Empire.


At the time when the town of Fontainebleau was growing, that the path of the inhabitants towards the church of Avon became more and more difficult, king Henri IV made start the church of the parish in 1610 but he did not have time to complete it because he died on May 14 in Paris. It was the regent Marie de Medici who fulfilled the king’s promise. The Saint-Louis Church was completed in May 1614. The town of Fontainebleau was created by the constituent from its parish in 1661. On November 16, 1661, king Louis XIV and Anne of Austria erected the chapel in the parish of Fontainebleau. In 1662, with permission from the King; a priest  bought a piece of land behind the church to build a large building to house a community of priests: this is the Hôtel de la Mission, still in existence.

The parish register of the Saint Louis Church of Fontainebleau contains the baptismal certificate of the son of the musician Jean-Baptiste Lully and Madeleine Lambert, Louis Lully, baptized on September 9, 1677 in the upper Saint-Saturnin Chapel (see post) of the Oval Court of the Château de Fontainebleau.

The Saint-Louis Church was considerably enlarged and enriched by Napoleon III, who came regularly to the castle and wished to give the city a more monumental character. It is from this period that the main facade, the facade of the transept on Rue Grande and the Chapel of the Virgin date, as an extension of the apse. The Saint-Louis Church has brick and stone facades which give it a very special personality among the religious buildings of the region.

In the 18C, King Louis XV and his wife, Queen Marie Leszczynska, were the godfather and godmother of the church bell. It was dismantled and broken during the French revolution. The Saint-Louis Church has an organ buffet offered by King Louis XIV. The organ is partially damaged, notably due to soot, during the arson attack on January 10, 2016.

Unfortunately, on January 10, 2016, part of the Saint Louis Church was ravaged by arson: according to the mayor of the city, the statue of the Virgin of Franchard from the 14C, an altarpiece from the 15C and an altar from the 16C were destroyed. The ciborium was stolen and consecrated hosts were thrown on the ground. The Reparation Mass is celebrated by the bishop of Meaux, Mgr Jean-Yves Nahmias, on January 24, 2016, in the presence of President Nicolas Sarkozy and the President of the Île-de-France region Valérie Pécresse. On May 2018 ,the new statue of the Virgin of Franchard was replace by an identical statue ,the work of sculptor Thierry Gillaizeau, Meilleur Ouvrier de France and put back in the chapel.

A bit on the architecture of the Saint Louis Church tell us the facade with three superimposed pyramid levels. A arched arch door opens the first level and is framed in the antique double Corinthian columns engaged supporting a triangular pediment; the second level carved out of three niches sheltering statues of saints; and the third level is made up of fluted Corinthian pilasters, surmounted by a broken pediment with reentrant upper scrolls. The side walls are pierced with bays framed in bricks. A bell tower with a polygonal base and louvers is placed above the crossing of the transept, at the top of the roof. The entire building is covered with a double-pitched roof. The interior elevation has two elevation levels of large countered arches and tall windows, covered with a curved vault covered with paintings with decorative patterns.

Some webpages to help you visit the wonderful Saint Louis Church in French:

City of Fontainebleau on the St Louis Church

Contact the Parish of Meaux for personal visits in French: Parish of Meaux on visits to St Louis Church

It is always there, close to the castle on main street, always a fix and we have come and gone from it. Hope you like the reminder of another monument to visit in my beloved memorable Fontainebleau and the Saint Louis Church.

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

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