A New Year, Another Château Visit

A short jaunt from Paris, history unfolds at Le Château de Fontainebleau, home to French royalty for eight centuries and a veritable treasure trove of visual inspiration for the creatively inclined.  Perhaps less famous than the Sun King’s Château de Versailles (and thus, thankfully, less crowded), Fontainebleau is hardly less ostentatious, acting as a historical and cultural barometer of the decorative developments and personal tastes of kings, queens, emperors and empresses ranging from Henry IV to Marie Antoinette. Recent restorations- some taking as long as 20 years- have been unveiled to reveal newly woven, historically accurate tapestries and jacquard wall coverings, carpets, and more. Remarkable parquetry, gilded ceilings, and enough chandeliers to fill, well, a 1500 room chateau are just a few compelling reasons to hop on the RER and explore the deep heritage that cloaks every square inch of this French architectural relic.  Below, a series of our favorite details and rooms captured on a recent visit.

Entrance to the Grands Appartements

Gobelins tapestry

Carpet detail

The Queen’s Apartment

Fireplace in the Queen’s Apartment

The Queen’s Bed

Carpet Detail

Details of a boudoir re-decorated especially for Marie Antoinette

Parquetry detail

A tapestry in the Grands Appartements

A room in the sovereign Grands Appartements, last re-decorated
under Napoleon III & Eugenie in 1868

Chair in the Grands Appartements

Parquetry detail

Chandelier shadows


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