The Royal Library at Fontainebleau!!!

ok well try not to repeat as this is very nostalgic for me and each writing on it makes feel like I am there inside! This of course is Fontainebleau, in Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Ïle de France region of my belle France! I like to update for you and me the wonderful  as words cannot describe it, Royal Library of the Château de Fontainebleau!

So let me turn your attention to a wonderful room in a gorgeous castle full of history of France and Europe. One of my favorites and the first one ever visited in France with my dear late wife Martine.  As said, this castle brings lots of memories for me and my family and we love it every minute we can be there, as Friends of the castle; I keep up with its walls.  The Royal Library grew and it became a major one of France and the world.  It all started as usually old with a King, this time was François I. One of the lasting visitor resident of the Château de Fontainebleau.

On May 22, 1544, king François I ordered an inventory of the library of the Château de Blois to prepare them for a move to the nearby Chateau de Fontainebleau.   The 1,896 items were soon on the move, arriving at their new home by June 12 under the supervision of his private librarian. From 1537 it received a copy of every French publication. By 1546, the English ambassador toured the new Royal library at Fontainebleau as François I proudly showed his new library to them. It was remarked during the tour that he had commissioned French translations of the Greek books he had purchased through his agents in Greece. During his reign, fine bindings became the craze and many of the books added by him and Henry II are masterpieces of the binder’s art.

The Royal library of the Château of Fontainebleau grew steadily, even after François’ death. By 1567, it held 3,650 books. Scholars were so eager to get their hands on the books that they petitioned Catherine de Medici to move the Royal library closer to a building in Paris. The library was moved to Paris between 1567 and 1593, and the first real catalog of its holdings was compiled in 1622. First opened to the public in 1692, the library was moved to the Mazarin Palace in the rue de Richelieu in 1721 and underwent successive expansions thereafter. The library was renamed the Bibliothèque National de France  in 1795, and it benefited by the revolutionary confiscations of church and parish book collections and later by Napoleon’s acquisitions or pillages. Most of them are still there, very well organized. Now located at Quai François Mauriac 13éme Paris. This library of about 4,000 volumes returned to Paris at a date that remains uncertain, between January 1569 and May 1574. Similarly, the precise place where it was installed is not known.

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However, the Royal library at Fontainebleau still contains some of the most original and historical books. The castle keeps within it collections of prime importance including prints dating from the 16C to the 19C. Established under the leadership of Napoleon I and in use throughout the 19C, the castle’s libraries consist of two main groups: the palace library and the emperor’s private library.

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The official Château de Fontainebleau and the galerie de Diane old royal library webpage: https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/en/explore-the-castle-and-gardens/fontainebleau-rooms/the-grands-apartments/nineteenth-century-galleries/

The official Château de Fontainebleau and the palace library: https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/en/fontainebleau-resources/documents/heritage-libraries/the-palace-library/

The official Château de Fontainebleau and the private Imperial libraryhttps://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/en/fontainebleau-resources/documents/heritage-libraries/the-emperors-private-library/

Enjoy it as much as you can; a castle open to the world and a beautiful old Royal library! This is Fontainebleau and see the Chateau de Fontainebleau and its galerie de Diane (see post) Royal LIbrary.

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

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