The Cour d’Honneur

This courtyard is closed on three sides and looks out over the town to the west following the destruction of the fourth wing and installation of an ironwork gate in 1809-1810. It was named the Cour d’Honneur (main courtyard) in the 18th century, having previously been known as the Cour du Cheval Blanc (white horse courtyard) after a sculpture of a horse that was installed there in the 16th century. It is also referred to as the Cour des Adieux in memory of Napoleon I’s farewell speech given to the Old Guard there before his departure to Elba on 20 April 1814. It is bordered to the north by the Ministers’ Wing (c. 1530), to the east by the jeu de paume hall (17th & 18th century) and the Escalier en Fer à Cheval Wing, intersected by five pavilions (the Pavillon des Armes, the Clock Tower, the Pavillon des Orgues, the Pavillon Central and the Pavillon des Poëles), which were built between the 16th and 19th centuries. To the south, Gabriel’s Grand Pavilion (1750) extends into the Louis XV Wing (1739-1740 and 1773-1774), which is also by Gabriel. The courtyard is closed by the Renaissance Pavilion, extending from the opposite wing.

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