Fontainebleau Palace, Paris

The most famous feature of the front of the Fontainebleau Palace is the grand horseshoe stairs, first built during the reign of Henry II. The present stairs date to the 17th Century. Napoleon gave his famous farewell speech on April 20, 1814 on the steps before being exiled to Elba. It must have been difficult for him?!

This is his speech following his abdication to his soldiers:

 SOLDIERS, I bid you farewell. For twenty years that we have been together your conduct has left me nothing to desire. I have always found you on the road to glory. All the powers of Europe have combined in arms against me.

A few of my generals have proved untrue to their duty and to France. France herself has desired other destinies; with you and the brave men who still are faithful, I might have carried on a civil war; but France would be unhappy. Be faithful, then, to your new king, be obedient to your new commanders, and desert not our beloved country.

Do not lament my lot; I will be happy when I know that you are so. I might have died; if I consent to live, it is still to promote your glory. I will write the great things that we have achieved.

I can not embrace you all, but I embrace your general. Come, General Petit, that I may press you to my heart! Bring me the eagle, that I may embrace it also! Ah! dear eagle, may this kiss which I give thee find an echo to the latest posterity! Adieu, my children; the best wishes of my heart shall be always with you: do not forget me!

SkyWatch Friday 

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15 Responses

  1. DeniseinVA says:

    Great post, thanks Indrani. It was extremely interesting.

  2. Sylvia K says:

    Beautiful captures of a wonderful place and great history, Indrani! Thank you!

  3. beautiful and intersting post!

  4. lovely post, Indrani! and what a touching speech it must have been!

  5. George says:

    Thanks for the history lesson and the wonderful picture of that grand staircase.

  6. very nice post. i really enjoy the european architecutre that you've been featuring here.

  7. Carletta says:

    Love the steps – fit for a fairytale princess. 🙂
    To imagine Napolean actually there is pretty neat.
    Wonderful post!

  8. ladyfi says:

    So much history and splendour!

    I'm off to Paris in about three weeks.

  9. What a moving speech that was! Must have been difficult for him! Loved the grand palace pic!

  10. Krishna says:

    Nice info

    i liked second photo


  11. Gattina says:

    It's ages I haven't been there ! Nice to see it again !

  12. eileeninmd says:

    It is a beautiful palace, I really like the stairs. They are grand! Great shots, have a happy weekend!

  13. Carver says:

    Great shots and interesting history.

  14. Reader Wil says:

    Ah Napoleon! He was a real drama King! He had the power to charm people and convince them of his good intentions. By saying "my heart shall be always with you: do not forget me!", he remained master of the situation and kept his dignity.
    Great post, Indrani!

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