Monday, May 5, 2008

Chateau de Fountainebleau

Some people say their homes are their castles, but for some people (like royalty) their homes really were castles or Chateaux. Imagine coming home to this:

This is a picture of the entrance to the Chateau de Fountainebleau near the center of Paris, France. It's the smaller, faster Chateau day trip from the city with packages from the SNCF Gare de Lyon that include the train and bus to the Chateau from Paris. There are audio guides in various languages that go through the detail of what happened in each room, from the bathroom to the plate room! It's fun and interesting to learn about the games they played in the parlor (the men all stood as the women were seated). And seeing the bathrooms of the era makes everyone appreciate the conveniences we take for granted today. Even the size of the books in the library are massive compared to the ones we carry around today (some are 2' x 3' !). The hallways are amazing just for the details on the walls.

It is astounding to be in the place where Napoleon and Marie Antoinette both slept and to see the beds they slept in!
Of course most people choose Versailles as the chateau they visit on their first trip to Paris, and yes, the Chateau and gardens are spectacular. Plan at least a full day or two half days to explore everything. They are constantly renovating and changing the exhibits, so check that the Chateau is open before making your plans.

The most important things to remember when visiting a Chateau is to wear very flat comfortable shoes (cobblestone entries are very hard on high heels!) and bring your camera (I forgot mine when I went to Versailles!)

Bonne Visite:)

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