Video: Château de Fontainebleau
To walk through this palace is to walk through the history of France. It is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries and every French royal family added its own architectural style and features when in residence.
Fontainebleau was once one of the residences of the sovereigns. It was home to almost 30 kings of France through eight centuries between Louis IX and Napoleon III. Starting as a 12th century château, Fontainebleau saw many additions and renovations over the centuries. However, it was during the Renaissance that the palace underwent its most spectacular transformation. Francois I (1494 – 1547) brought together extremely diverse collections of art work and made Fontainebleau an artistic centre attracting people from all across Europe. It is world-renowned for its extraordinary Italian Renaissance art and architecture.