Fontainebleau coté jardins by Vincent DROGUET – Château de Bénouville

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Fontainebleau coté jardins by Vincent DROGUET – Château de Bénouville

Fontainebleau gardenwise

It was hunting, and consequently the forest, that decided on the future of Fontainebleau, rendering this former Capetian kings’ residence one of the favourite destinations of the Valois and Bourbons. Yet, as early as the reign of François I, the gardens were already one of the castle’s most attractive features, partly governing the development of its construction. The essential role played by the gardens of Fontainebleau was never to fail and the work undertaken by Henri IV and Louis XIV was even to offer them a new dimension. During the First Empire, the English landscaped garden vogue led to the creation of two major landscaped gardens. Today, the park and gardens of Fontainebleau are an essential ingredient in ensuring the site’s attractiveness to the public, offering a subtle transition between the château and the forest, between the mineral reign of its buildings and the plant reign of Fontainebleau’s forest.

Vincent Droguet


Vincent Droguet is chief heritage curator at the Château de Fontainebleau since 1995 and the site’s Director of Heritage and Collections since 2013. He has acted as commissioner for several exhibitions including Théâtre de Cour, les spectacles à Fontainebleau au XVIIIe siècle (2005), Henri IV à Fontainebleau, un temps de splendeur (2010) and Le roi et l’artiste. François Ier et Rosso Fiorentino (2013). The catalogue of the last exhibition was awarded the  Prix Fould 2014 granted by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Within the Château de Fontainebleau, he is in charge of the collection of paintings together with Empress Eugenie’s Chinese museum.

Further reading :
Les jardins du Château de Fontainebleau, Nicolas Chaudun, 2011