Verseille or Fontanbleu

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May 7th, 2011, 04:21 AM
  #1
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Verseille or Fontanbleu

With limited time in Paris which would you suggest for history buffs?
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May 7th, 2011, 04:40 AM
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No doubt Versailles - not only much much more impressive than Fontainebleu IMO but its parks and gardens are so to - like Marie Antonette's little hamlet she created to play being a shephardess, etc. But Versailles palace was the seat of the French kings for so so long so it reeks of history in every stone and the city itself has some relics of that era like the place where American ambassadors like Benjamin Franklin stayed, etc.

IMO there is really no comparison and this is not saying Fontainebleu is not impressive as well but it ain't no Versailled.

And Versailles is much closer to Paris - in fact a part of the Paris conturbation really - fontaineblue harder to reach as you take a train to Fontainebleu-Avon station and then it's a mile or so to the palace - RER C of the Paris metro takes you right to the gates of Versailles palace.

Get a Paris Museum Pass IMO to avoid long lines with preferential admission gates and also to use in paris - just visitng the main museums and Versailles will save you tons of money and time in line like at Louvre again you have a special entrance sidestepping oft long long lines at ticket windows. Buy the pass at any museum - I often buy mine at a lesser museum with no ticket lines.
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May 7th, 2011, 04:41 AM
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May 7th, 2011, 04:59 AM
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Depends on what kind of history buffs you are. Most history buffs have interest in specific historical figures, and then it is a question of going to where those persons were located, not just the biggest and most impressive château.

Louis XV got married at Fontenblow, and Napoleon lived there. Louis XIII and XIV spent their lives at Ver-sigh.
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May 7th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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If you're truly a history buff, then the particular history of the place should dictate which one you go to. Even if you're not, I should think knowing the distinctions between two entirely different historical venues would make a difference in your choice, not what the buildings/grounds look like.

BTW, it's Versailles and Fontainebleau.
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May 7th, 2011, 07:04 AM
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if history is equal for your interests then Versailles IMO has far far nicer palace and grounds - and this is not saying that Fontainebleau ain't nice either but Versailles offers a lot more - Marie Antoninette's Hameau and on sundays in summers the water fountains are dancing to piped in classical music, etc.
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May 7th, 2011, 07:16 AM
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Read up on the history of Vaux-le-Vicomte on the web site. It comes alive when you visit the chateau.
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May 7th, 2011, 07:37 AM
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I liked Malmaison.
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May 7th, 2011, 07:43 AM
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For history, Fontainebleau which was started as a Renaissance palace and was favored by Napoleon I. One of the main tours, which we did not take, is through the apartments of Napoleon.
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May 7th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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I agree that a history buff would probably know about them and would decide based on which appealed to one's interests. But if you aren't really that well-versed in French history, they both have historical connections, you can't deny that, but of course Versailles is more important historically. If you want to know which is more manageable, I'd say Fontainebleau because it is so much smaller. I find Napoleon an interesting character, so was particularly interested in Fonatainebleau. It is very beautiful and has nice gardens.
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May 7th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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Agree that Versailles is more dramatic, opulent, large gardens..and crowds to match.

When I visited Fontainebleau they were still renovating rooms. Because I was the only person there, the guide took me on a behind the rope tour, including non-renovated rooms.

Napoleon abdicated from there, the first time.

Since they are of a different scale, I'd say if you want small and intimate...Fontainebleau. It would also be a shorter visit. The chateau is right on town, and the grounds are OK.

For a first visit, I'd choose Versailles
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May 7th, 2011, 02:32 PM
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As mentioned, if you're interested in history, both will be fascinating.

But for a first visit, I'd go with Versailles as well, which will take a full day. I bought the admission/train fare combo in Paris, and that was great for skipping the lines. Versailles is bigger, has more to see and it's better preserved, though of course it is more crowded. In terms of luxury, Fontainebleu doesn't really compare, and it's not as well preserved and looks rather drab, though it was still interesting to me as a history buff.
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May 7th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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thanks everyone. Forgive my speling erors - as you can see, spelling has never been my strength, plus my keyboard is sticking

historically Fontainebleau is probably more interesting as we both are fascinated by Napoleon, but the ease of getting to Versailles (plus the gardens) may tip the balance. Thanks
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