Countless monarchs, from Louis VII to Napoleon III, have called Château de Fontainebleau their home, giving it their own elegant touches over the centuries. The Renaissance based, horseshoe-shaped staircase designed by Jean Androuet du Cerceau in Louis XIII’s reign is perhaps the Château’s most famous architectural feature.
The Château’s apartments, with their opulent and highly refined décor and furnishings compelled Napoleon to call it “the true home of Kings, the house of ages”. Furthermore, the galleries, with their luscious and elegant décor, were used to socialize and promenade by the Court. The 3 galleries that remain are also a treasure trove of art; depicting the Renaissance era, the myth of Diana and the beautiful hunting grounds of Fontainebleau.
Designed by Hector Lefuel at Napoleon III’s request, The Imperial Theatre had long been closed to the public until it was restored under the gracious patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Acknowledging his generosity the French Minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, changed the theatre’s name to Cheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Theater
Named after Saint Saturnin, the chapel of Cour Ovale is the only structure still standing from the original Château since its first recorded reference from the year 1137. Philibert Delorme fitted the chapel with a splendid marble gallery before it was annexed to the Salle du Tibre wings. Empress Eugenie’s and Napoleon III’s love of Chinese imperial art propelled them to devote an entire museum to Far-Eastern treasures, dubbed The Empress’ Chinese Museum. Since the 19th century, 3 more museums have been inaugurated. The museums display pieces from the Napoleonic era and a collection of oil paintings and furniture acquired throughout the 7 centuries.
The long history of monarch residents have enabled Château de Fontainebleau to boasts several invaluable artistic Masterpiece Collections that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. A wonderful place to visit!