One hour south of Paris, the Chateau of Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial residence to have been lived in continuously.
For eight centuries the chateau was home to kings, queens, emperors and empresses who all contributed to the embellishment of this incredible edifice.
The oldest vestiges are from the 12th century.
King Louis IX much loved his medieval keep. The edifice was greatly transformed in the Renaissance, becoming a true palace. François I and Henri IV are among the kings of France who were most taken with this chateau. They did not hesitate to embellish it again and again, especially with the gardens and the horseshoe staircase. This staircase is impressive by its size, its majesty and its curves, a unique architectural element for which the chateau is reputed.
Four museums within the chateau can be visited, one of which is dedicated to Napoleon I. In the gardens, visitors can enjoy the pleasant atmosphere: by the hedges or in the shadow of a pine tree, the streams, ponds and grottos of this 325 acre park.