Fontainebleau is a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located south-southeast of the centre of Paris. Fontainebleau is a sous-préfecture of the Seine-et-Marne département, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Fontainebleau. The commune has the largest land area in the Île-de-France region, and is the only one larger than Paris itself.
Fontainebleau, together with the neighboring commune of Avon and three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 inhabitants (1999 census). This urban area is a satellite city of Paris.
Fontainebleau is renowned for its large and scenic Forest of Fontainebleau, a favorite weekend getaway for Parisians, as well as for the historical Château de Fontainebleau of the kings of France; INSEAD, one of the world's most elite business schools; and École Supérieure d'Ingénieurs en Informatique et GÉnie des TELécommunications (ESIGETEL) a French Engineering Grande École.
Inhabitants of Fontainebleau are called Bellifontains.
During the French Revolution, Fontainebleau was temporarily renamed Fontaine-la-Montagne, meaning "Fountain by the Mountain" (the mountain referred to is the series of rocky formations located in the Forest of Fontainebleau).
Several treaties were signed in Fontainebleau, including the 1814 Treaty of Fontainebleau which stripped Napoleon Bonaparte of his powers (but not his title as Emperor of the French) and sent him into exile on Elba.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, Fontainebleau was home to the NATO's HQ Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT); HQ Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE) (AIRCENT) was located nearby at Camp Guynemer. After France established its own nuclear arsenal under its direct control, French President Charles de Gaulle decided that he no longer needed NATO-controlled atomic weapons on French soil. In 1966, de Gaulle asked for the departure of all non-French NATO troops from French soil. The United States returned those bases to French control, and NATO moved AFCENT to Brunssum in the Netherlands and AIRCENT to Ramstein AFB, in West Germany.
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