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Fontainebleau is a lovely historic town 55.5 km (34.5 miles) south of Paris. Palace of Fontainebleau is one of the largest French royal châteaux, a favourite weekend getaway for Parisians, and attracts crowds of tourists. The earliest record of a fortified castle at Fontainebleau dates to 1137.
⇒ Also сheck оut мore info: Interactive plans of the castle and the gardens
The medieval castle and subsequent palace served as a residence for the French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Francis I and Napoleon were the monarchs who had the most influence on the Palace as it stands today. It became a national museum in 1927 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
Orientation in town is very easy as there is only one main artery called the “Rue Grande” (map) which goes from the Castle to the other end of town, passing by the central “Napoléon Bonaparte” place.
During the late French Renaissance, the decoration of the Palace of Fontainebleau engaged some of the finest artists and craftsmen from Italy and France, including The style of painting and decoration they created became known as the School of Fontainebleau, and covered a period from about 1530 until about 1610. It helped form the French version of Northern Mannerism.
Its interior decorations are especially interesting as a fine example of the French Renaissance style. At the same time, its historical significance is hard to overestimate, since it was the preferred residence of French kings and emperors for 7 centuries. The first mention of the castle dates back to 1137.
Although by no means less interesting than the Versailles castle, the Fontainebleau castle is a bit more difficult to reach and less known to tourists; as a result, there are at least ten times less visitors in Fontainebleau than in Versailles.
Except maybe on national holidays, there is never a queue to get in, and you can explore the immense castle almost on your own, which, together with the fresh air and the absence of street vendors contributes to make your visit a very peaceful and enjoyable experience.
The castle is open every day except Tuesday, January 1, May 1 and December 25th.
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• Public transport.
Guide to traveling to and getting around in the France.
RATP ::: Metro timetables • Bus timetables • Tramway timetables • RER timetables
You can go by train from Paris by Gare de Lyon (map): there are at least two trains an hour between 06:19 and 00:49.
From the Gare de Fontainebleau Avon (map) you can use a line 1 bus to get to the Chateau (about 15 minutes).
⇒ Public transport (parisinfo.com) • Getting to France (uk.france.fr)
BUS: sobus.travel — sells bus tickets for all the bus companies. The Noctilien (Map of Noctilien) is a night bus service that operates in Paris and the Paris region from 12.30am to 5.30am.
TRAIN: For regional trains, schedules can be found at ter.sncf.com. For long distances, use the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or High-speed train) on which reservations are obligatory. TGV • Thello • Ouigo. + RailEurope • Eurostar • Thalys • izy (Paris-Brussels) • TGV Lyria (Switzerland) • DB (Germany) • RENFE (Barcelona)
AIRPORT: parisaeroport.fr – Paris airport information. aeroport.fr – list of airports in France.
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport by public transport
- Paris-Orly airport by public transport
- Beauvais Airport / Paris ↔ Airport Shuttle
FERRY: Batobus – Eiffel Tower ⇒ Musée d’Orsay ⇒ St Germain des Près ⇒ Notre-Dame Cathedral ⇒ Jardin des Plantes ⇒ Hôtel de Ville ⇒ Louvre ⇒ Champs-Elysées ⇒ Beaugrenelle. + Getting to Paris by boat / More Info about Passenger Boats
Les jardins et la parc du château de Fontainebleau.
Sur un domaine de 130 hectares, le château déploie ses divers corps de bâtiments entre quatre cours principales, trois jardins et un parc. L’étonnante diversité de formes, de couleurs et de structures des édifices, reflétant les goûts des différentes époques auxquelles ils furent bâtis, fit dire à un visiteur Anglais que Fontainebleau était un « rendez-vous de châteaux ».
L’harmonie qui se dégage, malgré tout, de cet ensemble résulte de la volonté des souverains de s’inscrire dans la continuité de leurs prédécesseurs. Cette succession de scénographies architecturales se déploie le long de jardins dont la conception générale fut entièrement revue au cours du XIXe siècle : le jardin de Diane et le jardin Anglais adoptèrent des styles paysagers à l’anglaise. Le Grand Parterre classique d’André Le Nôtre (1660-1664), et ses 14 hectares de jardin à la française, quant à lui, offre une expérience de l’espace et des perspectives totalement différentes. Il est prolongé, au-delà du bassin des Cascades, par un long parc que traverse, dans toute son étendue, le grand canal d’Henri IV.
⇒ video source: Château de Fontainebleau / youtube.com /
• Useful websites.
Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.
VISAS & IMMIGRATION.
How do you obtain a VISA for a stay in France – and what are the customs procedures? + Customs and Visas (france.fr)