Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

Overview
Fontainebleau is a commune in the metropolitan area
Aire urbaine
The aire urbaine is a statistical region created by the INSEE that comprises a commuter belt surrounding a contiguous urban core...

 of Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. It is located 55.5 kilometres (34.5 mi) south-southeast of the centre of Paris
Kilometre Zero
In many countries, Kilometre Zero or similar terms in other languages, is a particular location , from which distances are traditionally measured...

. Fontainebleau is a sub-prefecture of the Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne is a French department, named after the Seine and Marne rivers, and located in the Île-de-France region.- History:Seine-et-Marne is one of the original 83 departments, created on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution in application of the law of December 22, 1789...

 department, and it is the seat of the arrondissement of Fontainebleau
Arrondissement of Fontainebleau
The arrondissement of Fontainebleau is an arrondissement of France, located in the Seine-et-Marne département, in the Île-de-France région...

. The commune has the largest land area in the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 region; it is the only one to cover a larger area than Paris itself.

Fontainebleau, together with the neighbouring commune of Avon
Avon, Seine-et-Marne
Avon is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-Geography:Avon and Fontainebleau, together with three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 inhabitants...

 and three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 inhabitants (according to the 1999 census).
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Fontainebleau'
Start a new discussion about 'Fontainebleau'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Fontainebleau is a commune in the metropolitan area
Aire urbaine
The aire urbaine is a statistical region created by the INSEE that comprises a commuter belt surrounding a contiguous urban core...

 of Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. It is located 55.5 kilometres (34.5 mi) south-southeast of the centre of Paris
Kilometre Zero
In many countries, Kilometre Zero or similar terms in other languages, is a particular location , from which distances are traditionally measured...

. Fontainebleau is a sub-prefecture of the Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne is a French department, named after the Seine and Marne rivers, and located in the Île-de-France region.- History:Seine-et-Marne is one of the original 83 departments, created on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution in application of the law of December 22, 1789...

 department, and it is the seat of the arrondissement of Fontainebleau
Arrondissement of Fontainebleau
The arrondissement of Fontainebleau is an arrondissement of France, located in the Seine-et-Marne département, in the Île-de-France région...

. The commune has the largest land area in the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 region; it is the only one to cover a larger area than Paris itself.

Fontainebleau, together with the neighbouring commune of Avon
Avon, Seine-et-Marne
Avon is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-Geography:Avon and Fontainebleau, together with three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 inhabitants...

 and three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 inhabitants (according to the 1999 census). This urban area is a satellite of Paris.

Fontainebleau is renowned for the large and scenic forest of Fontainebleau
Forest of Fontainebleau
The forest of Fontainebleau is a mixed deciduous forest lying sixty kilometres southeast of Paris, France. It is located primarily in the arrondissement of Fontainebleau in the southwestern part of the department of Seine-et-Marne...

, a favourite weekend getaway for Parisians, as well as for the historical château de Fontainebleau, which once belonged to the kings of France, It is also the home of INSEAD
INSEAD
INSEAD is an international graduate business school and research institution. It has campuses in Europe , Asia , and the Middle East , as well as a research center in Israel...

, one of the world's most elite business schools; of the École supérieure d'ingénieurs en informatique et génie des télécommunications
École supérieure d'ingénieurs en informatique et génie des télécommunications
ESIGETEL was founded in 1986 by the Melun Chamber of Commerce...

(ESIGETEL), one of France's grandes écoles; and of a branch of the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
The École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris was created in 1783 by King Louis XVI in order to train intelligent directors of mines. It is one of the most prominent French engineering schoolsThe École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (also known as Mines ParisTech, École des Mines de...

, the Paris School of Mines, also one of the elite grandes écoles.

Inhabitants of Fontainebleau are called Bellifontains.

History


Originally called Fontaine Belle eau or Fontaine Belleaue, Fontainebleau settled on current name in 1169.

This hamlet was endowed with a royal hunting lodge and a chapel by Louis VII
Louis VII of France
Louis VII was King of France, the son and successor of Louis VI . He ruled from 1137 until his death. He was a member of the House of Capet. His reign was dominated by feudal struggles , and saw the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England...

 in the middle of the twelfth century. A century later, Louis IX
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

, also called Saint Louis, who held Fontainebleau in high esteem and referred to it as "his wilderness", had a country house and a hospital constructed there.

Philip the Fair
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

 was born there in 1268 and died there in 1314. In all, thirty-four sovereigns, from Louis VI, the Fat
Louis VI of France
Louis VI , called the Fat , was King of France from 1108 until his death . Chronicles called him "roi de Saint-Denis".-Reign:...

, (1081–1137) to Napoleon III (1808–1873), spent time at Fontainebleau.

The connection between the town of Fontainebleau and the French monarchy was reinforced with the transformation of the royal country house into a true royal palace, the Palace of Fontainebleau. This was accomplished by the great builder-king, Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 (1494–1547), who, in the largest of his many construction projects, reconstructed, expanded, and transformed the royal château at Fontainebleau into a residence that became his favourite, as well as the residence of his mistress, Anne, duchess of Étampes
Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly
Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly , Duchess of Étampes, was the mistress of Francis I of France.She was a daughter of Adrien de Pisseleu, seigneur d'Heilly, a nobleman of Picardy, who, with the rise of his daughter at court, was made seigneur of Meudon, master of waters and forests of Île de France, of...

.

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, every monarch, from Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 to Louis XV, made important renovations at the Palace of Fontainebleau, including demolitions, reconstructions, additions, and embellishments of various descriptions, all of which endowed it with a character that is a bit heterogeneous, but harmonious nonetheless.

On 18 October 1685, Louis XIV signed the Edict of Fontainebleau
Edict of Fontainebleau
The Edict of Fontainebleau was an edict issued by Louis XIV of France, also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes of 1598, had granted the Huguenots the right to practice their religion without persecution from the state...

there. Also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, this royal fiat reversed the permission granted to the Huguenots in 1598 to worship publicly in specified locations and hold certain other privileges. The result was that a large number of Protestants were forced into exile, mainly in the Low Countries, Prussia and in England.

The 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762)
The Treaty of Fontainebleau was a secret agreement in which France ceded Louisiana to Spain. The treaty followed the last battle in the French and Indian War, the Battle of Signal Hill in September 1762, which confirmed British control of Canada. However, the associated Seven Years War continued...

, a secret agreement between France and Spain concerning the Louisiana territory in North America, was concluded here. Also, preliminary negotiations, held before the 1763 Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 was signed, ending the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

, were at Fontainebleau.

During the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, Fontainebleau was temporarily renamed Fontaine-la-Montagne, meaning "Fountain by the Mountain". (The mountain referred to is the series of rocky formations located in the forest of Fontainebleau.)

On 29 October 1807, Manuel Godoy, chancellor to the Spanish king, Charles IV
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 and Napoleon signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Fontainebleau (1807)
The Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed on 27 October 1807 in Fontainebleau between Charles IV of Spain and Napoleon I of France. The accord divided Portugal and all Portuguese dominions between the signatories. Individuals such as M. Izquierdo, councilor of Charles IV, and Don Manuel de Godoy were...

, which authorized the passage of French troops through Spanish territories so that they might invade Portugal.

On 20 June 1812, Pope Pius VII arrived at the château of Fontainebleau, after a secret transfer from Savona
Savona
Savona is a seaport and comune in the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea....

, accompanied by his personal physician, Balthazard Claraz. In poor health, the pope was the prisoner of Napoleon, and he remained in his genteel prison at Fontainebleau for nineteen months. From June 1812 until 23 January 1814, the pope never left his apartments.

On 18 April 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, shortly before his first abdication, bid farewell to the Old Guard
Old Guard
The Old Guard were the elite veteran elements of theEmperor Napoleon's Imperial Guard. As such it was the most prestigious formation in Napoleon's Grande Armée....

, the renowned grognards (gripers) who had served with him since his very first campaigns, in the "White Horse Courtyard" (la cour du Cheval Blanc) at the Palace of Fontainebleau. (The courtyard has since been renamed the "Courtyard of Goodbyes".) According to contemporary sources, the occasion was very moving. The 1814 Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Fontainebleau (1814)
The Treaty of Fontainebleau was an agreement established in Fontainebleau on 11 April 1814 between Napoleon Bonaparte and representatives from Austria, Hungary and Bohemia , as well as Russia and Prussia. The treaty was signed at Paris on 11 April by the plenipotentiaries of both sides, and...

 stripped Napoleon of his powers (but not his title as Emperor of the French
Emperor of the French
The Emperor of the French was the title used by the Bonaparte Dynasty starting when Napoleon Bonaparte was given the title Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the French Senate and was crowned emperor of the French on 02 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, in Paris with the Crown of...

) and sent him into exile on Elba
Elba
Elba is a Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino. The largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, Elba is also part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago and the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia...

.

For the 1924 Summer Olympics
1924 Summer Olympics
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France...

, the city played host to the riding portion of the modern pentathlon
Modern pentathlon at the 1924 Summer Olympics
At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, a single modern pentathlon event was contested. It was the third appearance of the sport; for the third straight time, Sweden swept the medals.-Shooting:-Swimming:-Fencing:-Equestrian:...

 event. This event took place near a golf course.

In July and August 1946, the town hosted the Franco-Vietnamese Conference, intended to find a solution to the long-contested struggle for Vietnam’s independence from France, but the conference ended in failure.

Fontainebleau also hosted the general staff of the Allied Forces in Central Europe (Allied Forces Center or AFCENT) and the land forces command (LANDCENT); the air forces command (AIRCENT) was located nearby at Camp Guynemer
Georges Guynemer
Georges Guynemer was a top fighter ace for France during World War I, and a French national hero at the time of his death.-Early life and military career:...

. These facilities were in place from the inception of NATO until France’s partial withdrawal from NATO in 1967 when the United States returned those bases to French control. NATO moved AFCENT to Brunssum
Brunssum
Brunssum is a municipality and a town in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. Brunssum was formerly a center of coal mining in the Netherlands and there are a few active mines remaining in the area...

 in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and AIRCENT to Ramstein in West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

. (Note that the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, also known as SHAPE, was located at Rocquencourt
Rocquencourt
Rocquencourt is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France.It is mostly known for:* hosting a research unit of INRIA ;...

, west of Paris, quite a distance from Fontainebleau).

Tourism


Fontainebleau is a popular tourist destination; each year, 300,000 people visit the palace and about 11 million people visit the forest.

Fontainebleau forest


The forest of Fontainebleau
Forest of Fontainebleau
The forest of Fontainebleau is a mixed deciduous forest lying sixty kilometres southeast of Paris, France. It is located primarily in the arrondissement of Fontainebleau in the southwestern part of the department of Seine-et-Marne...

 surrounds the city and dozens of nearby villages. It is protected by France's Office National des Forêts, and it is recognised as a French national park. It is managed in order that its wild plants and trees, such as the rare Service Tree of Fontainebleau
Service Tree of Fontainebleau
Sorbus latifolia is a species of whitebeam that is endemic to the area around Fontainebleau, south of Paris in France, where it has been known since the early eighteenth century.-Physical description:It is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows to between ten and twenty metres tall, with a trunk...

, and its populations of birds, mammals, and butterflies, can be conserved. It is a former royal hunting park often visited by hikers
Walking
Walking is one of the main gaits of locomotion among legged animals, and is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step...

 and horse riders. The forest is also well regarded for bouldering
Bouldering
Bouldering is a style of rock climbing undertaken without a rope and normally limited to very short climbs over a crash pad so that a fall will not result in serious injury. It is typically practiced on large natural boulders or artificial boulders in gyms and outdoor urban areas...

 and is particularly popular among climbers
Climbing
Climbing is the activity of using one's hands and feet to ascend a steep object. It is done both for recreation and professionally, as part of activities such as maintenance of a structure, or military operations.Climbing activities include:* Bouldering: Ascending boulders or small...

, as the biggest developed area of that kind in the world.

Royal Château de Fontainebleau


The Royal Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau
The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards...

 is a large palace where the kings of France took their ease. It is also the site where the French royal court, from 1528 onwards, entertained the body of new ideas that became known as the Renaissance.

INSEAD


The European (and historical) campus of the INSEAD
INSEAD
INSEAD is an international graduate business school and research institution. It has campuses in Europe , Asia , and the Middle East , as well as a research center in Israel...

 business school
Business school
A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in Business Administration. It teaches topics such as accounting, administration, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, marketing, organizational behavior, public relations, strategy, human resource...

 is located at the edge of Fontainebleau, by the Lycee Francois Couperin. INSEAD students live in local accommodations around the Fontainebleau area, and especially in the surrounding towns.

In 2011 INSEAD ranked as the Bloomberg Businessweek #1 international business school, Forbes #1 for ROI, and Financial Times 2011 #4 business school in the world. INSEAD has campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

Other Notables


The graves of G. I. Gurdjieff
G. I. Gurdjieff
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff according to Gurdjieff's principles and instructions, or the "Fourth Way."At one point he described his teaching as "esoteric Christianity."...

 and Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield
Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp Murry was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. Mansfield left for Great Britain in 1908 where she encountered Modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and...

 can be found in the cemetery at Avon.

Transport


Fontainebleau is served by two stations on the Transilien Paris–Lyon
Transilien Paris – Lyon
Transilien Paris – Lyon is one of the sectors in the Paris Transilien suburban rail network. The trains on this sector depart from Gare de Lyon in central Paris, as well as from Melun station in the suburbs...

 rail line: Fontainebleau–Avon
Communauté de communes de Fontainebleau-Avon
The Communauté de communes de Fontainebleau-Avon is a communauté de communes in the Seine-et-Marne département and in the Île-de-France région of France.- Composition :It includes only 2 communes:*Avon*Fontainebleau...

 and Thomery
Thomery
Thomery is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France, between the forest of Fontainebleau and the river Seine.Inhabitants of Thomery are called Thomeryons.-Economy:...

. Fontainebleau–Avon station, the station closest to the centre of Fontainebleau, is located near the dividing-line between the commune of Fontainebleau and the commune of Avon
Avon, Seine-et-Marne
Avon is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-Geography:Avon and Fontainebleau, together with three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 inhabitants...

, on the Avon side of the border.

Famous residents

  • Philip IV of France
    Philip IV of France
    Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

    , born and died in Fontainebleau
  • Francis II of France
    Francis II of France
    Francis II was aged 15 when he succeeded to the throne of France after the accidental death of his father, King Henry II, in 1559. He reigned for 18 months before he died in December 1560...

    , born in Fontainebleau
  • Henry III of France
    Henry III of France
    Henry III was King of France from 1574 to 1589. As Henry of Valois, he was the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with the dual titles of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1573 to 1575.-Childhood:Henry was born at the Royal Château de Fontainebleau,...

    , born in Fontainebleau
  • Louis XIII, king of France, born in Fontainebleau
  • Christina, Queen of Sweden; her lover, Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi
    Monaldeschi
    The Monaldeschi were one of the powerful noble families of Orvieto, central Italy, members of the Guelph party who contested with murders and violence the Ghibelline Filippeschi for control of the commune of Orvieto and the castelli of Umbria....

    , was murdered in Fontainebleau
  • Alfonso XIII
    Alfonso XIII of Spain
    Alfonso XIII was King of Spain from 1886 until 1931. His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, was appointed regent during his minority...

    , king of Spain, after his abdication
  • Aga Khan IV
    Aga Khan IV
    Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV, NPk, NI, KBE, CC, GCC, GCIH, GCM is the 49th and current Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims. He has held this position under the title of Aga Khan since July 11, 1957, when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan...

  • Anna Elizabeth Klumpke
    Anna Elizabeth Klumpke
    Anna Elizabeth Klumpke , was American portrait and genre painter born in San Francisco, California, United States....

    , an early twentieth-century artist
  • Ernst August V, Prince of Hanover
    Ernst August V, Prince of Hanover
    Ernst August, Prince of Hanover , is the third husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, heiress presumptive to the throne of Monaco...

     and Caroline, Princess of Hanover
    Caroline, Princess of Hanover
    Caroline, Princess of Hanover, Hereditary Princess of Monaco , formally styled Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover , has been heiress presumptive to the throne of Monaco since 2005, a position which she previously held from 1957 to 1958.She is the wife of...

  • Rosa Bonheur
    Rosa Bonheur
    Rosa Bonheur, born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur, was a French animalière, realist artist, and sculptor. As a painter she became famous primarily for two chief works: Ploughing in the Nivernais , which was first exhibited at the Salon of 1848, and is now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris depicts a team...

    , a 19th century artist

See also

  • Communauté de communes de Fontainebleau-Avon
    Communauté de communes de Fontainebleau-Avon
    The Communauté de communes de Fontainebleau-Avon is a communauté de communes in the Seine-et-Marne département and in the Île-de-France région of France.- Composition :It includes only 2 communes:*Avon*Fontainebleau...

  • Fontainebleau rock climbing
    Fontainebleau rock climbing
    The region around Fontainebleau in France is particularly famous for its beautiful and concentrated bouldering areas.French alpine climbers practiced bouldering there since the 19th century....

  • Milly-la-Forêt
    Milly-la-Forêt
    Milly-la-Forêt is a commune in the Essonne department in Île-de-France in northern France.-Geology:The Forest of Fontainebleau in the western end of which Milly-la-Forêt lies, is composed of the Oligocene Fontainebleau sands, which are a marine deposit, laid down in an intertidal...

  • Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762)
    Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762)
    The Treaty of Fontainebleau was a secret agreement in which France ceded Louisiana to Spain. The treaty followed the last battle in the French and Indian War, the Battle of Signal Hill in September 1762, which confirmed British control of Canada. However, the associated Seven Years War continued...

  • Fontainebleau High School
    Fontainebleau High School
    Fontainebleau High School is a public high school in unincorporated St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States, north of Mandeville. The school is a part of the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools....


External links