60km (37 miles) S of Paris, 74km (46 miles) NE of Orléans

From the elegant Renaissance castle of François I to 19th century Napoleonic stronghold, the hallways and vast forest of Fontainebleau have played host to some of the most important figures and events in French history. Far from the overwhelming glitz and pomp of Versailles, Fontainebleau, which Napoleon referred to as "the house of the centuries," offers visitors a more intimate look at the real lives of French monarchs and its immense forest provides a great getaway from hectic Paris for lovers of the great outdoors.