The emperor's beloved palace—The Palace and Park of Fontainebleau.
Fontainebleau palace and gardens are located in the 17,000-hectare forest in the southern suburbs of Paris. The original castle was built by King Louis VI during the 12th century. Fontainebleau was used as a seasonal hunting residence by 29 French kings over a 600-year period.
It gained in importance in the 16th century, when the then King Francois I decided to build a Renaissance palace here. He brought artists and architects from Italy to rebuild the castle.
This 60-meter long gallery in Renaissance style is named after him. Beautiful stucco sculptures frame 14 large paintings.
The palace became a target for French Revolutionaries at the end of the 18th century and was badly damaged. The emperor Napoleon took a presidency after the revolution and ordered renovation.
The building separating the palace and the town were removed, and the walls were replaced by iron railings. Napoleon wanted to show that the palace was more open to the public.
The King's bedroom was converted into an imperial throne room. The gilded throne is flanked by gold columns topped with Napoleon's emblem, made up of an eagle and his initial N. The palace was a testament to Napoleon's power and authority.
There were 16,000 books in the library. He used some of them to devise strategies for battle in a bid to conquer Europe.
Napoleon spent most of his time in the palace in this office, which was also a bedroom. His time at the palace ended on the 6th of April, 1814 when he abdicated. Napoleon described Fontainebleau as the house of the centuries, and said there was no other place he could feel happier.
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It gained in importance in the 16th century, when the then King Francois I decided to build a Renaissance palace here.