Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Birchircara, Malta Majjistral, Malta
April 30, 2012
From journal Get a breath of air in Paris
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
February 11, 2011
From journal The most popular tourist destinations in the world.
March 22, 2010
February 19, 2006
The town of Fontainebleau is worthy of a potter round, with some interesting architecture and, of course, a plethora of souvenir shops. We found the shops attractive and adding to the atmosphere of this intimate town. But of course, the main attraction of Fontainebleau is the stately chateau that dominates the town. The chateau started its life as a royal hunting lodge in the early 1100s, and over the ensuing years, Fontaine-Belle-Eau (Beautiful Water Fountain) assumed real importance as a royal retreat.
The formal gardens are massive, and if you don’t fancy a stroll, there’s a horse-drawn carriage that’s standing by ready to give you a tour of the estate. We’ll never forget the carp pool—this started off life as a swamp pool, which François I had converted to a "decorative lake." The lake was populated with fish for the royal table, but nowadays these huge hungry blighters demand to be fed by visiting tourists and clamber over each other as they veraciously grab the food thrown into the lake. In the middle of the lake is the royal pavilion first built under Henri IV, rebuilt by Louis XIV, and then restored by Napoleon 1st. Consider the royal party taking afternoon tea there after a walk round the fine gardens, gardens that have been superbly kept as Louis intended, and it’s not too hard to imagine ruling monarchs taking in the sun dressed in all their finery.
The Palace is built around five main courtyards reflecting the period in which that were constructed. The most famous is the Court of the White Horse—the main entrance with buildings dating back to the mid-16th century. The renowned double horseshoe staircase, built in 1634, is where Napoleon made his formal farewell to his entourage before leaving for the Island of Elba.
Inside the building are the royal apartments, where you can see the beautiful ornate gallery commissioned by Francois I as his "souvenir" of a trip to Rome; the ballroom, completed in Henri II’s reign, with its fine marquetry floor and stunning ceiling decorated in silver and gold; the small chapels; council chambers; and the throne room with the original furnishings.
We’ve made several visits to Fontainebleu, and I reckon it’s not a place to do justice to in a single trip. There’s loads to see, and on fine summer days, we’ve found it an extremely relaxing and intriguing place to visit. We love it—perhaps you will, too!
From journal Within Easy Reach from Fontainebleau