FRZHRU
 

The Second Empire

The final changes were made to the building and the layout of the château and its grounds, gradually transforming them into the building and grounds we recognise today. The Jardin de Diane was extended towards the town, and the station built at the edge of the grounds.

Musée Chinois - ©Sophie Lloyd

Further building developments and new interior decoration

During Napoleon III’s reign at Fontainebleau, works were largely restricted to continuing projects planned in the early half of the century. The most significant was probably the work carried out on the Gallery of Stags (Galerie des Cerfs), from which previously-added ground-floor apartments were removed to restore it to the dimensions and décor of Henry IV’s reign.

In 1854-57 the new theatre was built in the Louis XV Wing, whilst that in the Belle-Cheminée Wing burned down. The splendour of the various building works, improvements and decorative projects in the characteristically eclectic Second Empire style are still evident to today’s visitors to the sovereign apartments, which were originally laid out around the Cour Ovale. However, Napoleon III and Eugenie decided to move into a south-facing position in the Louis XV Wing, with their own private apartments opening directly onto the Jardin Anglais. The Emperor’s office, the Chinese rooms and museum, and the Empress’s Salon des Laques (containing lacquerware) were then gradually developed.

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