Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Papal Apartments

Anne of Austria used to occupy this room and as such it was known as the Queen Mother's Room. Pius VII visited Fontainebleau twice and it is from him that the room has derived its papal name - a portrait of the pope hangs in this room and that is all that is left from that period (latest 1814). The present décor was created by Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie who had the rooms redone in the 1860's. Luckily they kept the ceiling which dates back to Henri II and Anne of Austria.

Napoleon I wanted to impress the pope as much as possible but when the pope was 19 days away from Fontainebleau his rooms were still not finished! Probably with a sweaty forehead, Napoleon ordered the workmen to speed up and quickly demanded that furniture must be found - imagine if the pope found his rooms empty and bare! And as it turned out it was important that the pope liked his room's décor because from June 1812 to 23 January 1814 he never left these apartments.

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