South of Pa­ris / Sud de Pa­ris

GREATER PARIS - - [ Contents ] - By Pa­tri­cia Va­li­cen­ti

CH­TEAU DE FON­TAI­NE­BLEAU A King and his Castle Un roi et son châ­teau

The Cha­teau of Fon­tai­ne­bleau is de­vo­ting an ex­hi­bi­tion to one of its il­lus­trious so­ve­rei­gn in­ha­bi­tants, King LouisP­hi­lippe. The ex­hi­bi­tion, en­tit­led Louis-phi­lippe in Fon­tai­ne­bleau, the King and His­to­ry, brings to­ge­ther some 200 works to por­tray King Louis-phi­lippe as well as a fun­da­men­tal per­iod in the his­to­ry of one of the coun­try’s great castles, Fon­tai­ne­bleau. He would as­cend to the throne in Ju­ly of 1830, this king who lo­ved his­to­ry and ar­chi­tec­ture and who with his mas­ter ar­chi­tect Eu­gène Du­breuil would un­der­take an am­bi­tious pro­gramme of re­no­va­ting and res­to­ring the royal re­si­dences. Fon­tai­ne­bleau would qui­ck­ly be­come one of his fa­vou­rite homes and he would vi­sit the castle no less than 50 times du­ring his rei­gn, which las­ted from 1830 to 1848, al­ter­na­ting jour­neys of the court, fa­mi­ly stays, vi­sits to the work sites and of­fi­cial re­cep­tions. The king’s am­bi­tion for Fon­tai­ne­bleau was to make the re­si­dence of his an­ces­tors as pres­ti­gious as it was com­for­table.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is being held in the Grands Ap­par­te­ments of the for­mi­dable castle and ini­tial­ly in­tro­duces the vi­si­tor to life at the court of this king whose rei­gn was known as the Ju­ly Mo­nar­chy. Por­traits, tales from guests, theatre pro­grammes, ce­re­mo­nial je­wels all evoke the re­turn of splen­dour to the mo­nar­chy at the castle in par­ti­cu­lar with the mar­riage of the crown prince there in 1837. The se­cond part of the show, through res­to­ra­tion pro­jects, pre­sents the Fon­tai­ne­bleau of Louis-phi­lippe, en­abling the vi­si­tor to discover or re-discover the em­ble­ma­tic places wi­thin the castle like the Ga­le­rie Fran­çois I and the ball­room.

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