The forest of Fontainebleau (French: Forêt de Fontainebleau, or Forêt de Bière, meaning “forest of heather”) is a mixed deciduous forest lying sixty kilometres southeast of Paris, France.
John Evelyn remarks several times on the white sandstone, or grés de Fontainebleau. He seems to dislike the forest, describing it as:
“By the way, we pass through a forest so prodigiously encompassed with hideous rocks of whitish hard stone, heaped one on another in mountainous heights, that I think the like is nowhere to be found more horrid and solitary. It abounds with stags, wolves, boars, and not long after a lynx, or ounce, was killed among them, which had devoured some passengers. On the summit of one of these gloomy precipices, intermingled with trees and shrubs, the stones hanging over, and menacing ruin, is built an hermitage. In these solitudes, rogues frequently lurk and do mischief (and for whom we were all well appointed with our carabines); but we arrived safe in the evening at the village, where we lay at the Horne, going early next morning to the Palace.”