The restored Golden Gate

A jewel of the Renaissance

Built from 1528 at the instigation of Francis I, the Golden Gate is much more than just an entrance. Witness to the splendour of the Renaissance, it elegantly combines gilding, sculptures and paintings, constituting a complete masterpiece of the art of this period. The frescoes of Primaticcio, an Italian master, illustrate the artistic emulation of the reign of Francis I. His monogram appears on the capitals and his emblem, the salamander, dominates the main door. Over the centuries, at the end of the Allée de Maintenon, it has served as a grandiose setting to welcome the greatest foreign sovereigns. It was through this alley that Charles V, the French sovereign’s great rival, saw for the first time, during the winter of 1539, the silhouette of the Château de Fontainebleau. Opening directly onto the forest, the Golden Gate became the privileged passage for the departures and returns of the kings and emperors who lived in the castle. The Porte Dorée is one of the rare artistic testimonies of the Renaissance, along with the Francis I Gallery, the Ballroom and the Duchess of Étampes’ bedroom. It is also depicted in the very heart of the Francis I Gallery on a painting inserted into the décor.

Détails de la porte dorée avant restauration


At a cost of €660,000, the restoration work on the Porte Dorée (excluding studies and project management) marks a milestone in the preservation of French heritage. It is the first project of this scale, on Renaissance frescoes in decades, and it testifies the commitment of institutional partners and patrons to the preservation of our history. Following the success of the #UnGesteHistorique campaign (#AHistoricalGesture) for the restoration of the Horseshoe Staircase in 2018 with the Fondation du Patrimoine and the Kärcher company, the fundraising campaign for the restoration of the Golden Gate was launched in October 2022 to bring together individual donors. This fundraising campaign raised €113,000 and more than 170 donors. Institutional and corporate sponsorship was also very mobilized. The Fondation du Patrimoine supported this project of up to €250,000, as well as thanks to the sponsorship of €300,000 from Gecina, and the clubs of heritage patrons in Ile-de-France and Seine-et-Marne. This restoration also benefited from exceptional subsidies from the city of Fontainebleau, the Pays de Fontainebleau conurbation committee and the city of Samois-sur-Seine. The Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau also participated in this operation thanks to a generous contribution. The Institution would like to thank all the generous donors who have made a historic gesture to restore the Golden Gate and its remarkable frescoes for their support.

A restored masterpiece

Threatened by time and previous restoration interventions, the frescoes and the monumental door required a major restoration. Under the direction of Patrick Ponsot, Chief Architect of Historic Monuments, and accompanied by a multidisciplinary scientific committee made up of French and Italian experts, the team of restorers and the companies of the Historic Monuments worked with passion and precision to consolidate the structure, restore the sculpted decorations, the fresco paintings and the architectural elements, to preserve the authenticity and original beauty of this Renaissance heritage.

Détails de la Porte Dorée avant restauration

A jewel returned to the public

The objective of this exceptional project is to be able to present this ensemble to the public, to make its quality and historical importance understood and to enrich the understanding of the artistic program desired by Francis I. From mid-April, the public will be able to admire the Golden Gate as part of a guided tour, entitled
“A new renaissance”, and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the Renaissance. A unique opportunity to rediscover this masterpiece in all its splendour and to go back to the time of Francis I. 

April 13-15 and April 17-18
Duration: 45 minutes
At 10:30 a.m.

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Opening hours

The chateau

The chateau is open every day except Tuesday, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

From October to March: 9.30 am to 5 pm (last access at 4.15 pm).

From April to September: 9.30 am to 6 pm (last access at 5.15 pm).

The park and gardens are open, under the usual conditions, free of charge.

The restaurant is open every day for lunch.

Coming to the chateau

    Calcul de l'itinéraire jusqu'au Château de Fontainebleau