This weekend was the first of several group trips that my program, CIEE, planned for us. On a bright and early Saturday morning, we got on a bus and headed towards le Château de Fontainebleau, located in the southeastern part of Paris. Driving by and seeing fields upon fields of grass made me smile because it is so different from the actual city of Paris. How I missed seeing nature! 🙂 Fontainebleau is one of the largest châteaux in France and housed many kings from Louis XII to Napoleon III over the span of seven centuries! From a historical perspective, Fontainebleau has lots of it, unlike Versailles. I hate to compare the two, but lots of tourists (like me) will come down to choosing Fontainebleau or Versailles. After visiting both, I still can’t choose which one I like more!
Either way, I always find visiting big old palaces fascinating, especially when it comes to walking through each room. You will never find one room similar to the other because they are all uniquely decorated! My personal favorite out of all the rooms was the Apartment of the Pope/Queen of Mothers. In 1804, Pope Pius VII stayed there because he was going to crown Napoleon I the Emperor of France. However, prior to his stay, the apartment housed Marie de’ Medici, who was the Queen of France alongside her husband Henry IV. I really liked the whole colorful aspect of the room, with its detailed paintings on the walls and the beautiful chandelier in the middle!
There was also a chapel inside the château called the Chapel of the Trinity. It was the last part of the palace I saw, and well worth the wait. The chapel was built during the end of the reign of Francis I and finished under Henri II. The main standout of the chapel is the ceiling, which includes the depiction of God’s appearance at Noah’s Ark, the Kings of Judah, as well as the coming of Christ. I would have sat there for hours if I could just to take it all in!
After leaving Fontainebleau, all of the students in my program ate lunch together at a nearby café and it was delicious! Why try to describe food when you can just include pictures am I right?
After lunch, we had some free time to walk around a bit, so some friends and I decided to visit the nearby park that is connected to the Fontainebleau. Despite the cold and rainy weather towards the end of our trip, it was nice being around nature for a little while! I can definitely say that is one thing I miss about Hope right about now 🙂 Well, on second thought, the snow is covering most of campus, but still, you get the idea!
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