The Palace and Park of Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau Palace, France - detail

Ever considered getting an MBA? You could do a lot worse than to choose INSEAD. When I was at uni in the USA, several of my friends went on to do their Masters degrees here, and no wonder: not only is INSEAD one of the world’s best elite business schools, it’s also located in Fontainebleau, a large, gorgeous forest in Île-de-France, just outside of Paris.

Château de Fontainebleau

Now, business studies might not be your thing. You’re perhaps more interested in history or architecture or art or music. Fontainebleau has that, too. The pièce de résistance in this little town is the UNESCO World Heritage listed Château de Fontainebleau, used by the kings of France for eight centuries – from Louis VII in 1137 to the Napoleons in the 19th century. You may have heard of the Treaty of Fontainebleau. That’s where Bonaparte agrees with the victors (the Austrian Empire, Russia and Prussia) to go into exile at Elba. This is where he said his farewells.

Fontainebleau Palace, France - detail

Part of this stunning palace presently houses Écoles d’Art Américaines: an art, architecture, and music school for students from the USA.

Last November, I was in Paris for a meeting and managed to sneak out early. Hopping on the train to Fontainebleau, I arrived at the chateau about 4.30 pm, too late for a look inside, but luckily just in time for a quick stroll about the grounds. Here’s a tiny glimpse. Enjoy!

Chateau de Fontainebleau, gardens

Fontainebleau Palace, France

Gardens at Fontainebleau Palace, France

Bench at Fontainebleau Palace, France Bench at Fontainebleau Palace, France

Fontainebleau Palace, France

Fontainebleau Palace, France

Fontainebleau Palace, France - detail

Hiking in Fontainebleau

The forests of Fontainebleau is also a favourite weekend haunt of busy Parisians. If you’re interested in the outdoors, my friends Marlys and Michael of EasyHiker have explored the area and share some great suggestions for hiking in the Fontainebleau forest.

Practicals:

  • Fontainebleau – and the lovely château – is about 55 km from Paris, and easily reached by train from Gare de Lyon.
  • The château closes at 5pm this time of year (October – March) – and last admission is at 4.15. But you really need more than 45 minutes to see a good selection of the 1500 rooms. The château is closed on Tuesdays.
  • Admission is €10 (€8 concessions) for a self-guided tour of the Grands Appartements (incl audio guide). Various guided tours are available as well.

Fontainebleau Palace, France - detail

 
unesco logo

The Palace and Park of Fontainebleau is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.
 
 

This article is part of Travel Photo Thursday, a weekly photo feast hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox.

20 Responses to “The Palace and Park of Fontainebleau”

  1. Turkey's For Life 27 September 2012 1501 #

    Looks like a lovely place to visit and it certainly looks like a pleasant place to study. Lucky students!
    Julia
    Turkey’s For Life recently posted..Turkish Recipes: Hünkar Beğendi – Ottoman Cuisine At Its Best

  2. jenny@atasteoftravel 27 September 2012 1511 #

    Beautiful photos. I too have seen the gardens but not inside. You just reminded me I still have this to do! I didn’t realise that you could study here- lucky students
    jenny@atasteoftravel recently posted..Walking to Portofino

  3. Muza-chan 27 September 2012 1517 #

    Great article, thank you for info.
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: BREAKERZ – Miss Mystery

  4. Jackie Smith 27 September 2012 1611 #

    Your photographer’s eye caught some great views on this post. With each photo, I kept thinking, “This is the best. . .no, this is the best” as the next one scrolled into view. Most interesting.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..TP Thursday: The “Other” Capitol Hill in D.C.

  5. Vera Marie Badertscher 27 September 2012 1735 #

    Too bad you didn’t get inside, but the lack of crowds certainly gave you an opportunity to take some stunning pictures. I love the way you capture a times-gone-by vibe. Just totally lovely.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Travel to Tucson for Spanish Mission and Fry Bread

  6. I haven’t been to the Palace but I do love the countryside around Fontainebleau! It amazes me how quickly you get into the country when leaving Paris. Really enjoyed your pictures. This needs to be put on the list for my next visit.
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Gods, Porn and Generals in Rostock

  7. jade 27 September 2012 2309 #

    These photos look like they are out of a movie! So beautiful. I would love to spend a few days spent here.
    jade recently posted..A Progressive Dinner on The Queen Mary

  8. jan 28 September 2012 0000 #

    Hi, I like all the photos, but enjoyed the two of the benches – I have taken photos of benches all over the place!
    jan recently posted..We chose Lan Ha Bay over Halong Bay

  9. InsideJourneys 28 September 2012 0402 #

    Another reason I have to go back to Paris!
    Great shots. Love the sepia.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Oakton House Jamaica

  10. Margaret 28 September 2012 0543 #

    Wow! I love the photos with the arches and the pond. I’m sorry I didn’t make it here when I was in Paris.
    Margaret recently posted..‘Tis the season to roast green chiles

  11. Leigh 28 September 2012 1416 #

    I hand’t realized it was so close to Paris. What a place and definitely worthy of a day trip the next time I get to Paris. I love your sepia looking photo with the cart and buggy.
    Leigh recently posted..The Okotoks Erratic – A Photogenic Monster Sized Rock

  12. Becca@R We There Yet Mom? 28 September 2012 1535 #

    Absolutely gorgeous – as if we stepped back in time.

  13. Steve 29 September 2012 0825 #

    I’d never be able to find my way from class to class in time in that place. Not only is it huge, but I’d keep stopping to look at everything. Fortunately I’m not about to re-enroll in school, so I can just enjoy the pictures.
    Steve recently posted..Inspiration by More Kids Than Suitcases

  14. ItalianNotes 29 September 2012 1213 #

    It sure beats the university I’ve attended.
    ItalianNotes recently posted..Best Italian street food

  15. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders 30 September 2012 1144 #

    I don’t think I’d be able to concentrate on studying here. I’m having trouble figuring out which photo is my favorite. I like the one with the arches framing each other, and the one with the 2 rows of trees and the carriage looks timeless.
    Michele @ Malaysian Meanders recently posted..New Teen Traveler in the Family

  16. HIKING around a palace? Now that’s news to me! :) would be lovely to visit such a slice of history, all while exploring the nearby forest. I still can’t believe I have been to more than 20 countries across 4 continents, YET, I haven’t made it to France. I feel a little silly. Gotta go up there soon

    - Maria Alexandra
    Spanish Translator @latinAbroad recently posted..Best Sicily beaches: Spectacular scenery, turquoise waters (photos)

  17. Ana 2 October 2012 0940 #

    Such a great palace. It’s the first time I hear about it but I’ll place it on my travel list asap :)
    Ana recently posted..Making friends around the world

  18. Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag 3 October 2012 1128 #

    What a feast for the eyes. Oh wow, I’d love to visit there one day. Great photos by the way :)
    Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag recently posted..Best Wildlife Photos from Africa and Australia

  19. Danyelle Franciosa 4 October 2012 0200 #

    Wow! That was truly beautiful place. Fontainebleau is one of the beautiful place that can be found inf France. The photos are very beautiful. I love it very much. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

css.php