Walk in Barbizon in the forest of Fontainebleau

In the heart of the forest of Fontainebleau, this hike offers a visit of the town of Barbizon followed by a walk in the forest

The commune of Barbizon, on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau, is a mythical place. Nicknamed the "village of the painters", the commune saw the birth of the school of Barbizon. The most illustrious representatives of this school are Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet (the Angelus). You can also visit the former studio of the painter l'atelier Millet . The town is located 1 hour from Paris, you must come by car. The place is tourist and attracts a crowd of tourists often foreign. The visit in the main street and in the museums of the city allows to discover the work of the painters of Barbizon. For those who wish to discover the forest of Fontainebleau it is enough to go to the end of the village where there are signs indicating the departure of hiking trails. To sum up, Barbizon is an ideal place to go for a walk on a beautiful summer Sunday.

Interest: ratingvery good (1 user)
Difficulty: difficulty
Duration: 3 h.

Barbizon

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Barbizon
View of the passage which allows access to the main street. The center of Barbizon is very well restored.

The church of Barbizon

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The church of Barbizon
In the main street, you can visit the Gannes Inn, which housed visiting artists during the great period from 1830 to 1870. Today, the Gannes Inn houses the Ecole de Barbizon museum, and recreates the atmosphere of the time.

Jean-François Millet's workshop

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Jean-François Millet's workshop
If some painters were only passing through Barbizon, others settled there like Millet. You can visit his studio and discover his work. There is nothing left of Millet's house

Barbizon

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Barbizon
View of the village. The main street is very touristy in the summer. The place is rather chic with a strong foreign presence and the price of the many restaurants is felt.

View of the forest

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View of the forest
As soon as you leave the village, you find the forest of Fontainebleau. By taking the cow path at the exit of the village, you can find marked paths leading to the Millet-Rousseau medallion

Millet-Rousseau Medallion

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Millet-Rousseau Medallion
If you follow the marked route, you will find the Millet-Rousseau medallion and, not far from it, the Elephant Rock. The place is easily accessible. The medallion is a simple engraving in the rock. Nothing exceptional but ideal for a short stroll before going to eat.

Start of the forest hike

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Start of the forest hike
Leaving the center of Barbizon, you can go to the Fontainebleau forest (see map), one of the hikes you can do is called the "sentier de la cavalière des brigands". The departure is just next to the restaurants, then you just have to stay (very) concentrated to follow the arrows in the middle of the rocks.

Cavern of the robbers

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Cavern of the robbers
The brigands' cave, which is not very well indicated, is an extremely narrow passage under a rocky mass. If you are not claustrophobic and if you weigh less than 40 kg you can apparently pass through a tunnel. You can see the entrance on the picture. It seems that the Caverne des Brigands has never been frequented by thieves. It was an organizer of visits in the forest who had it dug in 1850 to attract tourists. Considering the number of visitors, he succeeded.

The village of painters

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The village of painters
Jules Coignet, Painters in the Forest of Fontainebleau, oil (Barbizon Museum). It is difficult to locate certain works in their original locations because the forest has changed so much.

Corot, Forest of Fontainebleau

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Corot, Forest of Fontainebleau
One of the examples of painting made in the forest of Fontainebleau. Corot, Forest of Fontainebleau, 1830. Corot was one of the first painters to settle in Barbizon.

The Angelus of Millet

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The Angelus of Millet
The Angelus by Jean-François Millet, his most famous work. The Angelus is exhibited at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The painting represents a man and a woman who stop working when they hear the bells and start praying.

The oaks of Apremont by Theodore Rousseau

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The oaks of Apremont by Theodore Rousseau
The painting shows the style of painting done in Barbizon. You can reach the gorges D'apremont from Barbizon.

Parking and restaurant

You just have to park here at the exit of Barbizon and then follow the signs to find the starting point of the hikes.

Departure point (Google Maps)

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