Fontainebleau is a town of Seine-et-Marne, in the Ile-de-France, 55 km south-east of Paris.
His famous forest covers over 90% of the municipal territory also the largest in the region with an area of 172 km².
With approximately 15,000 inhabitants today, the area is inhabited since ancient times (remains of a Gallic village were unearthed) and the Middle Ages, a first strong first castle used as a hunting lodge is enjoyed by St. Louis. In 1528, Francis I erected a new palace Italianate where he regularly stayed with his court. The village benefits and grows. And when the king and the court are absent, the castle continues being transformed, enlarged and embellished.
Later, Henry IV still developing the building and landscape the park and the forest (channel, roads). A Fontainebleau born several future sovereigns including Louis XIII. It's still in the castle that Louis XIV signed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and Louis XV marries. Later, Napoleon renovating the area and settled in the city of his guard Hussars. A few decades later, the castle was appreciated by Napoleon III and in the twentieth century, the site was selected to host several international conferences.
Besides some schools, it is still his castle and forest give Fontainebleau prestige and make it a major tourist destination. Parisians as visitors from around the world enjoy a leisure offer outsized ("nature" sports, culture). A must!
Before discovering the castle, a walk in the center of the city can appreciate a form of elegant planning and plush buildings that reflect centuries of presence, even if not permanent, a wealthy court, who liked to stay to Fontainebleau.
Mansions or hotels in the first sense and punctuate the beautiful rue Saint-Honoré, the Boulevard Magenta and Napoleon Square.
Examples include the Pompadour hotel built for the mistress of Louis XV, surrounded by a park with botanical garden, the hotel of the Black Eagle, the art museum and Napoleonic Military History (collections of weapons and standard largely devoted to the two Powers, closed for an indefinite period, contact at +33 1 60 74 64 89).
Note also the obelisk on the eponymous crossroads, raised in 1786 in honor of Marie Antoinette.
Moreover, the religious, the Church of St. Louis built between 1611 and 1614 and considerably revised during the Second Empire deserves a special visit. It is adjoined by a Mission Hall (which housed a community of priests). In the heart of the city, its main facade, the facade of the transept facing the High Street and the Lady Chapel, an extension of the apse were redesigned under Napoleon III (nineteenth century) in a monumental style. The materials (stones and bricks alternate) and the interior furnishings add to the majesty of the church.
In another development, the Italian theater was built in 1905 in a style Louis III. Its sumptuous architecture doubles as a great wealth in terms of programming. Information +33 1 64 22 26 91.
Then Directorate Castle World Heritage of UNESCO.
The present building dates largely from the sixteenth century but it was redesigned, enlarged and embellished, externally and internally in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the center of 130 hectares of parks and gardens, it was more or less inhabited by all sovereigns of the twelfth to the nineteenth century! Summary of the history of art and architecture, it has no less than 1,500 rooms all richly furnished and decorated. Renaissance emblem and symbol of imperial splendor, besides its annexes (especially dedicated to horses, such as riding Senarmont), domain Fontainebleau will visit today via multiple formulas.
The free tour allows us to appreciate the furniture and works of art of the Renaissance commissioned by Francis I, the refined interiors of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon's ceremonial house, the likes of Napoleon III... the same ticket gives access to the Napoleon museum (ten rooms near the court where the emperor bade farewell to his faithful, presenting a collection of furniture, art objects, paintings, sculptures, weapons, costumes, symbolizing the reign of Napoleon). It is valid all day. Price: 10 to 12 euros.
Furthermore, guided thematic tours are dedicated to "small" Louis XV apartments to "large" apartments both Napoleon, in the Renaissance room and Italian decor, the theater commissioned by Napoleon III, the Chinese museum (collections of Empress Eugenie), the thing boudoir. For young audiences, tours are also offered in the form of treasure hunts.
The castle is open daily except Tuesdays and 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. The park, gardens and courtyards are freely accessible. Information +33 1 60 71 50 70.
In the same city of Fontainebleau, again, in terms of sports and nature activities, the Playground, Villars Marshal Avenue is a dedicated space for teenagers and children with, for all ages available, ball pool, games foam, karting, trampolines, city stadium, climbing wall. Information +33 1 64 23 71 03.
Sometimes referred to as the capital of the horse, the city has a site dedicated to equestrian sports, Grand Parquet, which regularly hosts high-level competitions. It is designed for young riders and professionals. Information +33 1 64 23 42 87.
Racecourse of the Solle, for its part, was founded under Louis XVI. Modernized, 20 horse racing meetings are organized every year. Contacting at +33 1 64 22 29 37.
Is also available a fitness trail, road of the Hermitage, with free access, long 2000 m with 19 tackles, in a green setting. Information +33 1 64 22 29 37.
Featuring a small bathroom with spa space and a large pool reserved for swimming, the pool of the city proves valuable in any season. Price: 3.20 and 6.30 euros. Information +33 1 60 74 54 70.
It is then time to head for the huge vast forest of 25,000 hectares of which two thirds are located in the same town Fontainebleau.
Popular with hikers as artists and sportsmen, dotted with lakes, rocks (dedicated to climbing), crossed by wide avenues and more intimate trails, one can apprehend visiting the house of the forest, a lively educational center by the NFB also open to the general public. Contacting at +33 1 60 74 93 67.
For the rest, the variety of landscapes of the forest itself (60% hardwood like oak or beech, 30% softwood), between moorland and high forests, sandy areas or rocks sandstone, and its richness in terms of fauna and fauna are discovered via 400 km of marked routes.
An unrivaled paradise for fans of hiking and horseback or walking. Maps and information +33 1 60 74 99 99.
Within the forest, geological dedicated zones have become benchmarks for understanding the practice of climbing: contact at +33 6 86 70 81 11.
For equestrian activities in the forest, join the Stables of the Pheasant +33 1 64 22 63 49 are also offered throughout the year hikes photos, gym workouts or yoga under the foliage, boat rides on ponds... Information at +33 1 60 74 99 99.
Finally, Golf Town is implanted since the early twentieth century on the edge of the forest. The course (par 72 of 6153 meters) was built on the old parquet imperial hunts. The fairways are lined with trees and dotted with bunkers. Open every day except Tuesday. Information +33 1 64 22 22 95.