|Added by||Bart Perdieus|
|General Description||The Horseshoe Staircase was built at the request of Louis XIII between 1632 and 1634 and is credited to the architect Jean Androuet du Cerceau. With its atypical shape, it gives access to the François I Gallery and the castle’s Grands Apartments. The monument is also an unrivalled architectural achievement which very quickly became an architectural benchmark imitated throughout Europe.
From the reign of Louis XIV onwards, the staircase was used as a grandiose backdrop to greet princesses arriving for marriage to a son of France (the Duchess of Burgundy in 1697, Marie Leszczynska in 1725, Helene of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1837).
As the scene of Napoleon Ist famous farewell to his guard on 20th April 1814, the Horseshoe Staircase has gained legendary status and become the emblematic of Fontainebleau.
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