Fontainebleau Castle

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Fontainebleau Castle and Park
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem

Fontainebleau - Château - Etang aux Carpes.jpg
View from the carp pond
National territory: FranceFrance France
Type: Culture
Criteria : (ii) (vi)
Surface: 144 ha
Reference No .: 160
UNESCO region : Europe and North America
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1981  ( session 5 )
Fontainebleau Castle
Detailed view 1991

The Fontainebleau castle in Fontainebleau , department of Seine-et-Marne is a French castle about 60 km south of Paris , which at times, among others, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was used. Most famous for its Renaissance interiors , which numerous Italian artists worked on, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981 .

The first act of the opera Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi , which does not go back to the drama by Friedrich Schiller used as a model , takes place in Fontainebleau Castle, although the act described cannot be historically proven.

The name of Fontainebleau Castle, formerly also “Fontainbleau”, is derived from fontaine belle eau , which means “spring of beautiful water”.

Building history

Louis de Silvestre : Louis XIV receives the later King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, August III. in Fontainebleau Castle, 1714
inside view

The complex was built under Franz I and Henry II on the site of a castle from the 13th century, the donjon of which was added to the building and expanded into a hunting lodge under King Franz I. Construction of the central building that is visible today began in 1528. The castle is considered the first Renaissance building on French soil. It was built in the time of the kings Henry IV, Louis XIII. and Louis XIV. rebuilt several times.

Fontainebleau Castle has five courtyards, a chapel , state rooms , frescoes and stucco . Work for the castle was carried out by Italian artists such as Rosso Fiorentino from 1530 . These brought Mannerist style elements and Italian shapes to France.

Louis XIV. Had a new one in the gardens of the ground floor in the style of Baroque create a large channel and a new park.

Art in the castle

The so-called First and Second Schools of Fontainebleau are linked to Fontainebleau Castle . Both schools were founded by Italian artists.

  • The first school had a great influence on French art.
  • The second school developed from 1590. There were predominantly French and Flemish artists, such as the Antwerp French and history painter Ambroise Dubois (* 1543 in Antwerp ; † 1615 in Fontainebleau), the Parisian Toussaint Dubreuil (* 1561; † 1602) and the Parisian Martin Fréminet (1567 - 1619), active.

From both schools there are almost only those works in the castle that are inextricably linked with the building, such as frescoes or ceiling paintings.

The furnishing of the royal and imperial apartments is of outstanding artistic and historical importance. It is largely in the state of the last interior design renovation at the time of Napoleon III. receive. As a result, elements from Renaissance to historicism overlap . Original works from the time of Louis XIII dominate the wall and floor design. The suites of rooms that Napoleon I had designed for himself and Pope Pius VII , who was temporarily imprisoned here , have been preserved in their original condition.

In modern times, the American Conservatory was established in the castle, a summer academy for art and architecture.


There is a historic organ in the chapel of the Chapelle de la Trinité . The instrument was built in 1772 by the organ builder François-Henri Clicquot and served as an accompanying instrument on the singers 'and musicians' stands of the band. The pipe material was destroyed during the French Revolution . In 1967 the organ was reconstructed by the organ builder Alfred Kern . Today it has 15 stops on three manuals . The pedal ( pedalier “à la française” ) is attached to the positif. The instrument is equipped with a total tremulant.

I Grand Orgue C – d 3
1. Flute 8 ′
2. Bourdon 8 ′
3. Prestant 4 ′
4th Nazard 2 23
5. Doublet 2 ′
6th Tierce 1 35
7th Plein-Jeu V
8th. Cromorne 8 ′
9. Hautbois 8 ′
II positive interior C – d 3
10. Flute 8 ′
11. Bourdon 8 ′
12. Prestant 4 ′
13. Trumpet 8 ′
14th Clairon 4 ′
III Recit C – d 3
15th Cornet V

Events at Fontainebleau Castle


  • Manfred Esser, Lionel Walker: Fontainebleau - Regards. PRV Communications, Saint-Fargeau-Ponthierry 1993.
  • Philip Jodidio (Ed.): Fontainebleau. (= Connaissance des Arts. Special issue). Société Francaise de Promotion Artistique, Paris 1991.
  • Aumary Lefébure: Fontainebleau. Castle guide, German edition. Art Lys, Versailles 1997, ISBN 2-85495-088-7 .
  • Pierre Lemoine: Fontainebleau. Éditions Sun, Paris 1968.
  • Jean-Pierre Samoyault: Guide du Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau. Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-7118-3400-X .
  • Maurice Toesca: Les grandes heures de Fontainebleau . Albin Michel, Paris 1984.

Web links

Commons : Fontainebleau Castle  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See Woermann, Karl : History of art of all times and peoples. Fifth volume, Bibliographisches Institut, Dresden 1920, p. 175.
  2. More information about the organ
  3. Source: Larousse
  4. ↑ In detail: Blazek, Matthias: The history of NATO in Fontainebleau. In: F-Flagge - Magazin für den Fernmeldering eV Volume 37, No. 3/2010, p. 49 ff.
  5. The most expensive move of all time on

Coordinates: 48 ° 24 ′ 8 ″  N , 2 ° 42 ′ 2 ″  E