Sunday, November 05, 2006

Today on Flickr

I discovered Fontainebleau.

Fontainebleau is the name of both a forest and a château (once a royal hunting ground and the largest royal château, respectively) located about 35 miles southeast of Paris. Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour spent some of their first weeks together at this château. The court went to Fontainebleau in the autumn every year, as Louis XV loved to hunt and did so with much of his free time.

And in a strange bit of synchronicity, Fontainebleau is also the name of a state park in Louisiana that I hope to visit next weekend. I've been working on a series of letterboxes based on French women I admire; Madame de Pompadour will hopefully be the first carved and planted. I chose Fontainebleau, obviously, for the matching name and season. But the park is interesting in its own right: it contains the ruins of a sugar mill built by Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville in 1829 (it is of further note that de Marigny was also the title of Mme de Pompadour's brother, Abel Poisson, though I'm not sure if/how the titles are related). M. de Mandeville named the area after the Fontainebleau of France. The park has hiking trails, and is quite near part of the Tammany Trace, a 31-mile rails-to-trails conversion. I doubt it's quite as beautiful as the royal Fontainebleau, but I'm excited nonetheless.

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