The Porte Dorée of Fontainebleau!!

As I have been saying, Fontainebleau has a nice special meaning to our family. We never lived there but it was the first castle visited in France ever by us. This as consequence that my dear late wife Martine was from the region and she took me there first proud of her Fontainebleau. We have come back several times, I am friend of the castle, and plenty of posts in my blog on it. However, let me tell you about a spot briefly mentioned but never a post of its own, which it deserves , me think. Therefore, here is my take on the Porte Dorée of the Château de Fontainebleau. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Porte Dorée was Fontainebleau main entrance to the royal palace of the Renaissance, the Porte Dorée is the sumptuous door decorated with frescoes and gilding but also the golden door of the forest.These frescoes illustrate chants XIV and XV of the Iliad, an epic written by Homer. It was the entrance chatelet, it has long marked the entrance to the castle. It opens onto the oval courtyard on one side and the edge of the Fontainebleau forest on the other. It was in the apartment on the 1st floor (2nd US) that Madame de Maintenon was housed and that the revocation of the Edict of Nantes of October 17, 1685 was concluded. The golden door or Porte Dorée giaes access to the Oval courtyard, courtyard of honor in the Middle Ages as in the 16C. Its time of construction is identifiable in particular thanks to the figure of the sponsor, François I, on several capitals, as well as the date visible on one of them, 1528. This first achievement uses the syntax and vocabulary of Renaissance architecture, incorporating the codes of Antiquity and Italian taste, However, this building, built before the full blossoming of the French Renaissance, retains an overall medieval appearance.


A bit more on the endless beautiful history of the Château de Fontainebleau from my books.

Fontainebleau is not the castle of a sovereign, but that of each of them, a “family house” of the kings of France, handed down from generation to generation from the Middle Ages to the 19C. Indeed a monument of France in itself, If the medieval origins of the castle are still visible thanks to the old keep, which dominates the oval courtyard , it was king François I, seduced by the site and the game forest, who orders from 1528 spectacular developments, rebuilding the medieval palace and growing it into an Italian palace, a reflection of the power of a literate king and lover of the arts. The castle thus preserves, nowadays, the greatest decorative vestiges of the French Renaissance, such as the Italian artists invited by François Ier to Fontainebleau ,like Rosso Fiorentino and Primatice, imported the principles.

The successors of François I will continue his work: the favorite castle of Henri IV reviving in a time of splendor, the birth of the future Louis XIII in the king’s apartment will impose it as the cradle of the Bourbon dynasty. The young Louis XIV will assert his absolute power there, while Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette will set up there, on the eve of the French revolution, enchanting escape spaces away from the splendor of Versailles. During the reign of the brothers of Louis XVI (Louis XVIII and Charles X from 1815-1830), it embodied the splendor of monarchical history, which had to be returned to public veneration. For the Duke of Orleans, who became King Louis-Philippe I (reigning from 1830 to 1848), it was the historical setting of a sovereign who assumed his passion for history there. For Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon I, it offered an opportunity to restore the greatness of the Empire in one of his uncle’s most emblematic palaces. This competition of thrones had a beneficial effect on the castle. Constantly embellished with new decorations, solemn effigies, and enhanced with historicist furniture allowing these ephemeral rulers to anchor themselves in long history, it went through these fleeting regimes being the object of all attention and all restorations. It is in the final state in which Napoleon III and Eugénie, the last rulers of its long history, fitted it out, that it can still be visited today!

And more sites to indulge yourselves on the magnificent story of this wonderful castle, cheers to Fontainebleau!

The Château de Fontainebleau on the Porte Dorée

The city of Fontainebleau on the castle

The Fontainebleau tourist office on the castle

The Seine et Marne dept 77 tourist office on the castle:

There you go folks, a splendid castle in all the glory of my belle France. As said, many times and repeat, it’s a castle dear to me and friends of the castle since 2011 as it is the first visited taken by my dear late wife Martine in her dept Seine et Marne 77, memories forever. A must when visiting France, go to Fontainebleau ! And of course the Porte Dorée is one nice monument to see while there.Hope you enjoy the tour; it is a must I repeat…

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

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