A Visit to the Chateau De Fontainebleau

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Day Trip from Paris

The Chateau de Fontainebleau

Located approximately 30 miles south of Paris, the Chateau de Fontainebleau is probably the second most famous castle in France.

"Chateau de Fontainebleau"

The contrast to the undisputed champion, however, could not be starker: Versailles is so famous because it perfectly captures the personality of its “first owner”, the essence of an age and of baroque kingship, preserving all of them in the “amber of architecture”, so to say.

The Chateau de Fontainebleau, conversely, is so interesting because nearly all monarchs from Francois I …

"The front of the Chateau de Fontainebleau"

… all the way to Napoleon III in the 19th century …

"The Napoleonic side of the Chateau de Fontainebleau"

… have left their traces here. In the language of the theatre, you might say: it is a “round character”, in contrast to Versailles’s flat stereotype.

Tourists: from the heights of these rooftops, 600 years of French architectural history are looking down on you!

Simply stroll through the different courtyards to get an impression of the architectural variety on offer …

"A portal leading behind the Chateau de Fontainebleau"

"The other side of the Chateau de Fontainebleau approached from the back"

… the perfect leisurely start for a day of hiking in the near-by Forest of Fontainebleau.

(Fast trains from Paris Gare de Lyon leave about once an hour.)

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16 comments to A Visit to the Chateau De Fontainebleau

  • Have fun in Fontainebleau, Curtis. And thanks for dropping by

  • Curtis Taber

    I’m happy to say that we are spending the month of April 2014 here (in an apartment, not the chateau). It is the perfect location-40 minutes from Paris.

  • I love the fact that these beautiful spots are so close to where I live. We’re so spoilt living in Paris. As a side note, when I was 2 years old, my mother and I got thrown out of the Chateau de Fontainebleau. Apparently insisted on shutting the giant doors that separated each room. The tour guide lost patience after a while and asked my mum to leave. La honte!

  • Chateau De Fontainebleau is also known to have a very good forest where you can hike and also to some rock climbing or have a jogging there!

  • Calogero

    Really wonderful photos!

  • An architectural and historical beauty — and so close to Paris! Sorry to say, I still haven’t been to Versailles, either.

  • Joe

    Wow, what a magnificent building, love to design something like that

  • Beautiful! Thanks to you two my Paris list just keeps getting longer and longer. I love visiting palaces and grand estates and this is definitely a must-visit the next time we’re headed your way.

  • I knew too that there were rock climbing activities going on there, Natasha, but I wasn’t prepared to see how grand it was. It was the best of our near-Paris easy hikes.

  • Wonderful stuff – can’t believe I’ve not been yet. I know there’s great bouldering/rock climbing there as well…

  • Oh wow. I want to say sometimes they fly over this one during the Tour de France and show it. (I know it’s been featured in a lot of stuff really, but it seems it always excites me most when they show it during a Tour.) How magnificent it would be to see it, hike in the forest…aw, heck. Just to be in France period. One day I’ll make it. For now, I’ll enjoy it through your eyes.

  • Jeremy Branham

    Definitely a beautiful castle. I didn’t see this one either so I will have to explore a little more outside of Paris the next time I go.

  • What a beautiful castle! Now I need to go back to Paris!

  • Thank you,Jeff. You are too kind.

  • Sadly, I missed this on my last tour-de-France but it’s on my list for my next journey the Loire! Great article and BRILLIANT PHOTOS my friends!!

  • I have not seen much of France yet, so this would be a good start.

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