[fon-tin-bloh; Fr. fawn-ten-bloh]
Fontainebleau, town (1990 pop. 18,037), Seine-et-Marne dept., N France, SE of Paris. It is a favorite spring and autumn resort and was long a royal residence, chiefly because of the excellent hunting in the vast Forest of Fontainebleau. Louis IV resided in Fontainebleau, and Philip IV and Louis XIII were born there. Francis I built the magnificent palace, the chief glory of French Renaissance architecture and the scene of many historic events. Francesco Primaticcio and Sebastiano Serlio, the principal artists of the palace, came to be known, along with their fellow artisans, as the first school of Fontainebleau. In the palace Louis XIV signed (1685) the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Pope Pius VII was imprisoned (1812-14), and Napoleon signed his first abdication (1814). Fontainebleau also has a military museum. The town was headquarters of the military branch of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 1945 to 1965.
Fontainebleau, school of, group of 16th-century artists who decorated the royal palace at Fontainebleau. The major figures in this group were Italian painters invited to France by Francis I. Il Rosso, a Florentine and the most important member of the school, arrived at Fontainebleau in 1530; he was followed in 1532 by Francesco Primaticcio, a disciple of Raphael, and Sebastiano Serlio. Niccolò dell'Abbate appeared at the court in 1552 during the reign of Henry II. The art of Fontainebleau, today represented chiefly by the Gallery of Francis I, was an offshoot of the mannerist style developed in Italy. It was characterized by a refined elegance, with crowded figural compositions in which painting and elaborate stucco work were closely integrated. The work of the Fontainebleau artists incorporated allegory in accordance with the courtly liking for symbolism.

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.


The preliminary of Fontainebleau, before the Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended the Seven Years' War.

The Edict of Fontainebleau was signed here in October 1685, revoking the Edict of Nantes.

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.


Fontainebleau is a popular tourist destination; each year, 300,000 people visit the palace and about 11 million people visit the forest.

Fontainebleau forest

The forest of Fontainebleau surrounds the city and dozens of villages. It is protected by France's Office National des Forêts and is recognised as a national park that is managed partly to conserve its wild plants and trees (such as the Service Tree of Fontainebleau) and its valuable population of birds, mammals and butterflies. It is a former royal hunting park often visited by walkers and horse riders. The forest is also well regarded for bouldering and is particularly popular among climbers.

Royal Château de Fontainebleau

The Royal Château de Fontainebleau is a large castle where the Renaissance was introduced to France from 1528 onwards.

Other notable places


Fontainebleau is served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Lyon suburban rail line: Fontainebleau – Avon and Thomery. Fontainebleau – Avon station, the closest station to the town center of Fontainebleau, is located at the border between the commune of Fontainebleau and the commune of Avon, on the Avon side of the border.

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