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Ile-de-FranceOn the trail of Francis I in the Paris Area

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FontainebleauFontainebleau, the work of Francis I, is second only to Versailles in size. The original Château was a royal residence as early as the 12th century. Francis I devoted his life from 1528 to it. The Château he built remained the residence of the Kings of France until the 19th century. Having brought down the entire mediaeval château, except the dungeon, Francis I used the remaining foundations to raise the buildings of the Cour Ovale, to create the Cour du Cheval Blanc (renamed Cour des Adieux) and to connect the buildings with the Francis I Gallery. The King engaged many artists to work there, including the Italians Rosso and Primatice, who worked on the stuccos and on the paintings typical of the "First Fontainebleau School." In later years, Henri II, Henri IV, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Napoleon, Louis-Philippe and Napoleon III transformed the Château without changing its character. Today it is inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.
The city of Fontainebleau has kept its military and equestrian traditions thanks to its riding schools, race-track, National Equestrian Sport Centre and military schools, but the key attraction today is the splendid 60,000-acre forest, which attracts some 10 million visitors, drawn as were the hunting kings before them.

Additional Information

Musée National du château de Fontainebleau 77300 Fontainebleau
Phone : 01 60 71 50 60/70
Fax :01 60 71 50 71
Address 2 :Office de Tourisme de Fontainebleau,
4, rue royale 77300 Fontainebleau
Phone 2 :01 60 74 99 99
Fax 2 :01 60 74 80 82

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