Chateau De Fontainebleau

Chateau De Fontainebleau

Chateau De Fontainebleau Place du Général de Gaulle, Fontainebleau, France With over 1500 rooms at the heart of 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. A visit to Fontainebleau opens up an unparalleled view of French history, art history and architecture.At the request of Napoleon III, the theatre was designed by the architect Hector Lefuel and built between 1853 and 1856 in order to replace the old Comédie Theatre. The original space was too small, had no modern conveniences, and was inadequate for hosting the numerous guests invited by the imperial couple during their stays at Fontainebleau. Restricted by the layout of the facades and the attic area, Lefuel managed brilliantly (and with much ingenuity) to build a modern space with enough seating for 400 people. The theatre is directly inspired by Marie Antoinette’s small theatre at Versailles - no doubt to satisfy Empress Eugénie who greatly admired her - and was inaugurated in May 1857. The combination of silk upholsteries, floral carpets, and hand-painted (or gilded gesso) ornaments provides an impressive atmosphere.The room has remained in remarkable condition, as it was rarely used. Approximately fifteen performances have taken place in the theatre since its construction during the reign of Napoleon III. Additionally, the layout of the stage has remained unchanged and has not suffered from any modernization attempts.Long closed to the public, fallen into disuse, and isolated from the rest of the château, the Imperial Theatre was at last - thanks to this significant restoration campaign and the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan - rescued from oblivion.The Imperial Theatre at The Chateau De Fontainebleau, one of the premier examples of Second Empire theatres, has long awaited restoration. www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr

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