Forest of Fontainebleau

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Old topographic map of the Forest of Fontainebleau, 1895
Painters at Rest, Fontainebleau, Xavier Leprince, c. 1824
Jules Le Coeur and his dogs in the forest of Fontainebleau, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1866
The Fontainebleau forest is famous for its large boulders.

The forest of Fontainebleau (French: Forêt de Fontainebleau, or Forêt de Bière, meaning "forest of heather") is a mixed deciduous forest lying sixty kilometres (37 mi) southeast of Paris, France. It is located primarily in the arrondissement of Fontainebleau in the southwestern part of the department of Seine-et-Marne. Most of it also lies in the canton of Fontainebleau, although parts of it extend into adjoining cantons, and even as far west as the town of Milly-la-Forêt in the neighboring department, Essonne. Several communes lie within the forest, notably the towns of Fontainebleau and Avon. The forest has an area of 250 km2 (97 sq mi).[1]

Fauna and flora[edit]

The most common trees in the forest are: oak (44%), Scots pine (40%), and European beech (10%). Three thousand species of mushrooms have been discovered. The forest is also home to approximately seven thousand animal species, five thousand of which are insects.

View of the Gorges de Franchard in the Forest of Fontainebleau



Rock shapes[edit]

The place is also known for peculiar rock shapes which resemble elephants, tortoises, crocodiles and are believed to be natural formations.[2]

Fictional and media depictions[edit]

  • The painters of the Barbizon School found the forest a convenient location for their unadorned, realist depictions of nature.
  • The forest is the main location of the trilogy Les Fourmis by Bernard Werber.
  • In the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, Sir Percy and Margeurite St Just wander in this forest during the happy period of their courtship.
  • Act I (the prologue in the Italian version) of Verdi's opera, Don Carlos, is set in the forest of Fontainebleau.
  • A scene in the 1852 play The Corsican Brothers, where a duel takes place, is set in the forest of Fontainebleau.
  • Chapter 6 of the film serial Les Vampires takes place in Fontainebleau Forest.
  • The map "Castle Rock" in the game Alliance of Valiant Arms takes place in the Fontainebleau Forest.
  • The Santalune Forest location in Pokémon X and Y is based loosely on Fontainebleau Forest.
  • DC's Legends of Tomorrow (Season 2, episode 2) battle an enhanced Baron Krieger and several Nazis after the Waverider lands in the Fontainebleau Forest.
  • Louis Malle's autobiographical film, Au Revoir Les Enfants, was filmed and set in and around Fontainebleau.


Jean de Paris[edit]

The hills of Jean de Paris are part of the forest "known for its stark plateaus and rough terrain". It was a popular theme for painters and photographers of the Barbizon School.[3][4][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fontainebleau". Paris Digest. 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  2. ^ "Strange Rocks At Fontainebleau". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  3. ^ Antoine-Louis Barye, "Jean de Paris" [1]
  4. ^ Eugène Cuvelier, "Jean de Paris, Fontainebleau" [2]
  5. ^ Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, "Hills of Jean-de-Paris in the forest of Fontainebleau", in Karl Baedeker, Paris and Environs: With Routes from London to Paris, p. 174
  6. ^ Théodore Rousseau, "Autumn at St. Jean de Paris, Forest of Fontainebleau, 1846"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°24′45″N 02°39′09″E / 48.41250°N 2.65250°E / 48.41250; 2.65250