Fontainebleau: Salle de bal!!

And here I am back to one of my all time favorite places in my belle France and not just the castle but the town too. As said in many posts not to repeat myself ,the Château de Fontainebleau is very special to me. As written many posts on it and the town, let me give some of the spots not mentioned enough me think , in the past.

This time let me tell you a bit more on the Salle de bal or ballroom. Oh yes some figures to bring it back to perspective: The Château de Fontainebleau is 20,000 m2 of roofing area, 1,530 rooms, 115 hectares of parkland; 14 hectares for the large flowerbed garden, 1,145 meters in length of the canal, and 16,000 work of arts preserved.

The Salle de bal is located between the oval courtyard and the gardens, this sumptuous ballroom with pillars dressed in oak paneling with fluted pilasters, is one of the most remarkable rooms at 30 meters long and 10 meters wide, has an area that exceeds 300 m2 . Decorated in the 16C during the reign of Henri II, it offered the palace a lasting and resplendent village hall, dedicated to the festivities of the Valois court .Henri II modified the project of François Ier. From a loggia originally planned, he makes it a ballroom. The ballroom is one of the largest in the castle. It’s sort of like the village hall, banquets and receptions. The original project is noticeable by the presence of large semicircular bays and by the heavy consoles which were to support a vault on the casings. The “H” and crescent moon, numbers and emblems of Henry II, attest to the transformation of the original project.


At the other end, a balcony was to accommodate the musicians during these festivities, in order to ensure good acoustics. Unlike the François I gallery, the frescoes imagined by Primatice an Italian artist brought by François I in 1532 ,and produced by Nicolo dell’Abate and his team are no longer contained in frames but run freely in a continuous frieze overflowing even on the window frames. The themes are linked to the pleasures of hunting, feasting, dancing, and mythology , On the chimney wall: Diane on the hunt, Sebastien de Rabutin killing a wolf, Diane, Cerbère et l’Amour, Hercule and the wild boar of Erymanthe, and Diane driving a chariot harnessed with dragons. On the side walls: The feast of Bacchus, Apollo and the Muses at Parnassus, The Three Graces dancing before the gods, The wedding of Thetis and Peleus and the apple of Discord, Jupiter and Mercury at Philemon and Baucis, Phaeton begging Apollo for him let his chariot drive, Vulcan forging the weapons requested by Venus for Love, The Harvest, and eight trophies of arms painted under the sculpted bases. The rich coffered ceiling is covered with lunar emblems and the king’s motto. Its chandeliers and arms of gilded bronze, executed in 1837 during the reign of Louis-Philippe, highlight this unique setting which Ingres called the “French Vatican”.

Throughout this series will repeat these two webpages in English, one from the castle and the other the tourist office of Fontainebleau

Official Chateau de Fontainebleau

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the castle

And there you go a splendid room to be see always at the Château de Fontainebleau and a memorable moment for me all the time , whether visiting it or watching it or reading about it. This is Fontainebleau; hope you enjoy the brief tour.

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

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