Meaux in the Brie region

27 February 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

River boats in the foreground and St. Stephen's Cathedral in the background © Toine77/cc-by-sa-3.0

River boats in the foreground and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the background © Toine77/cc-by-sa-3.0

Meaux is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in the metropolitan area of Paris. It is located 41.1 km (25.5 mi) east-northeast from the center of Paris. With a population of 51,400 inhabitants, Meaux is the second most populated city in the Seine-et-Marne department after Chelles with 53,000 inhabitants.   read more…

Fontainebleau Palace and Park

24 August 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Fontainebleau Palace © Christoph Praxmarer

Fontainebleau Palace © Christoph Praxmarer

The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.This forest is now home to many endangered species of Europe and many people are trying to keep the forest safe from hunters and loggers. The palace introduced to France the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the “Fontainebleau style”: it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. The Fontainebleau style combined allegorical paintings in moulded plasterwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainebleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exaggeratedly long torso and limbs, small high breasts—almost a return to Late Gothic beauties. The new works at Fontainebleau were recorded in refined and detailed engravings that circulated among connoisseurs and artists. Through the engravings by the “School of Fontainebleau” this new style was transmitted to other northern European centres, Antwerp especially, and Germany, and eventually London.   read more…

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