Just south of Paris lies the gorgeous commune of Fontainebleau. This town is renowned for its historical importance as it is home to one particularly important attraction: the Château de Fontainebleau. This site is one of the grandest castles in all of France and draws flocks of visitors every year. Will you be among the next?
A Brief History of the Château de Fontainebleau
A Royal Residence
Château de Fontainebleau was first built in the twelfth century as a hunting lodge for the French kings, but fell into disrepair by the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth century King Francois I orchestrated its restoration and it was transformed into the castle we know today. This residence has been a base for the French royal family – particularly its kings – since its humble beginnings as a hunting lodge, and is known to have been a favourite dwelling of King Henri II, King Henri IV and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The castle, which has been officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is enormous and has a seemingly endless supply of galleries, apartments, chapels, gardens and more to visit. However, one of the most interesting buildings on the site is the military stables – which is why our team here at European Waterways has come up with a fantastic new excursion. Clients aboard hotel barge Renaissance will have the opportunity to tour the stables accompanied by a member of the French military.
This gorgeous, unique castle is the historical hub of Fontainebleau and it’s not difficult to see why. It is the only château in all of France to have been continuously inhabited by royalty for over seven hundred years, and each family has added elements of their own architectural flair while living there. To visit is to venture back in time and into one of the most famous, historic and luxurious French residences in the country.