Today Laurie and I went to Chateau de Fontainebleau again. This is at least our third visit (and maybe the fourth) and we enjoy it more each time.
The Best Audio Guide We’ve Encountered
Today we rented the audio guide and were pleased by how good it was. When these guides use technology well, they can really add to the enjoyment of a visit. The Chateau’s audio guides are smart-phones in disguise and so they can do cool things: pictures of each room as you enter it, so you know you’re in the right room, a “Location” button that when pressed shows a 3-D view of the entire Chateau with your location marked, excellent narratives, with the ability to easily access additional narratives with greater detail or on related subjects. Cost: 3€ ($3.50); I can tell you that was money well spent!
We visited the Chateau last trip; if you want to get more information look at Chateau de Fontainebleau, 2013. The first royal edifice was built here in the 12th century, and different kings and queens added, changed, tore down and rebuilt from then until the last royalty left (that was Napoleon III, nephew of the real Napoleon, “Emperor” from 1851 until he was captured by the German army in the French-Prussian war in 1870; by the time he was released, France had moved on from his emperorship and so he moved on to England).
Many people think Chateau de Fontainebleau is more interesting and historical than Versailles, as many kings and queens contributed to it, whereas Versailles was one king. It also is way less crowded! We’ve heard that almost any time of the year, Versailles is wall-to-wall people. You’ll see in the pictures of this post that, even with a bunch of school groups touring today, it was very comfortable.
That’s Chateau de Fontainebleau. We’d go again in a minute, and I’m sure we’ll be back here again. We really love this Chateau, for its beauty and its amazing history. The Chateau was lived in by Kings Louis IX, Charles VI, Henri II and Catherine de Medici, Charles IX, Henri III, Henri IV, Louis XIII, Louis XIV (The Sun King, who built Versailles), Louis XV, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Emperor Napoleon, Charles X, Louis Philippe, and Emperor Napoleon III. Not a bad cast of characters, history-wise.