When we found out we were moving to France we knew we were going to want to explore as much as possible. This weekend our house is as settled as it is going to be for now so we started looking for places within a good driving distance. I will admit that one of Addie's Madeleine books helped give me a place to start. The Chateau de Fontainebleau has housed kings, queens, and emperors for 800 years. Napoleon I lived here and left his mark on the home. I have read that this Chateau was part of the inspiration for Versailles.
We realized that Chateau de Fontainebleau is only an hour from our house. We got up early this morning, Jon made some amazing pancakes, I made a picnic lunch, and we headed out to hit the road.
We pulled up to the Chateau at 9:30, right when they open. We were able to find a spot to park on the street right out front, it is the little things when you are taking three small children to look at an old house.
We had the courtyard to ourselves!
The kids had fun running on the cobblestones.
Jon has been trying to get more pictures of the belly and me, 32 weeks now.
Once in the Chateau we had many of the rooms to ourselves, once we dodged a large tour group.
The highlight of Addie's day, the Audio guides!
Ben had a lot of fun, he especially liked Napoleon's weapons. After about an hour though he was done. He was ready for a snack and a break.
I am hoping to print out this H for our house.
This was a gallery that had been converted to a library.
I love these chairs that are meant to be used near a fireplace, one low arm rest to let the heat in and one high arm rest to keep the heat in.
My little history buff and I.
Napoleon I's throne room. It was Louis XVI's bathroom at one point.
I don't remember whose room this is, but I love it.
Here is the chapel it was beautiful.
The ceiling and balcony of the chapel, this is where the King and Queen would sit.
Addie wanted me to take a picture of her re-enacting the statue.
After walking through a lot of rooms we headed outside to the gardens. Jon went to the car to grab our picnic lunch and we went to the lake to check out the ducks and swans.
Once Daddy was back with the food we found a bench.
Not a bad view for lunch.
The kids enjoyed their PBJs.
I love how sweet he looks with such a grand background.
The flowers were so pretty.
I love these views of the Chateau and the flowers.
These three were such good troopers today.
The fountain was beautiful, and no one fell in!
This was down at the end of the gardens, it was a perfect day for walking around and enjoying this beautiful property.
We didn't get a family photo, but we did get a picture of everyone.
This is a picture from our car to the front gate of the Chateau. The crowds had definitely picked up by the time we left around noon.
On our way home we stopped in the village of Barbizon, it is a quaint little place with lots of art galleries and restaurants.
I know most people don't make it out to this Chateau on a normal trip to Paris, but we really enjoyed ourselves. You can see where this Chateau may have been an inspiration for Versailles, but they are both very different and interesting in their own right. One things we noticed about Fontainebleau is how many rooms they have for you to tour and how much furniture they have in each one. If you are coming to visit us this is a place we would offer up as an option!