A little history of Fontainebleau castle
Kings and emperors' favourite residence for 8 centuries! Fontainebleau was François I's castle, his masterpiece!
He destroyed the old medieval fortress founded by king Robert the Pious and raised instead a brand new Renaissance castle, in 1528.
Just figure it out: emperor Charles the Fifth took him prisoner, after the French defeat in Pavia, Italy.
François was set free in 1526. He wanted one thing: feast, parties, luxury! So he raised Chambord, then Madrid castle in the middle of bois de Boulogne, near Paris, then... Fontainebleau.
The king frenetically raised! But he loved Fontainebleau more than anything else. Tapestries, furniture, panelling, precious marbles...
His gallery is a nice instance of this luxury.
Henri II continued the fitting out, Henri IV extended the castle and relaid out gardens, Napoleon I called Fontainebleau the maison des Siècles ("Centuries' house"), a house he refit out with Empire furniture.
Here, in the courtyard, he said goodbye to his troops, before he left France for exile, in 1814...