The First Empire

By restoring the ravages to which the “home of kings” had been subject during the Revolution, Napoleon I took it upon himself to revive the ideas of the previous century, aiming to make the façades of the Cour du Cheval Blanc look more harmonious.

Detail of the gate to the Cour d’Honneur

The Restored Château

In common with other royal residences, the Château de Fontainebleau’s furnishings were scattered during the Revolution, which, by some chance, left the building itself intact.

It was Napoleon I who restored and completely refurbished the château in 1804, in preparation for the arrival of Pope Pius VII, who came to attend Napoleon’s coronation. Décor was created or adapted by purchasing Ancien Régime furniture, as well as through a huge number of orders to the regime’s usual suppliers.

The so-called Ferrara Wing, which enclosed the Cour du Cheval Blanc, was knocked down and replaced by an ironwork gate which opened up the château to the town. The Jardin Anglais was created to the south of the Louis XV wing.

The Emperor’s famous farewell speech to the Old Guard on 20 April 1814 led to the Cour du Cheval Blanc (named the Cour d’Honneur in the interim) being renamed the Cour des Adieux.

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