The Fontainebleau region of France
The forest of Fontainebleau and the surrounding villages have long been associated with artists. Two of these villages, Barbizon and Grez-sur-Loing, are of particular note as Robert Louis Stevenson stayed in them on several occasions in the period 1876 to 1878. After Stevenson completed his voyage in a canoe at Pontoise in 1876, he travelled to Barbizon and, like many artists from that period, he was attracted to the forest of Fontainebleau, eventually crossing the forest to arrive at Grez-sur-Loing where he met Fanny Osbourne who would become his companion.
In the same way as the château de Fontainebleau, some 60 kilometres from Paris, has for centuries attracted kings and emperors, the villages surrounding the forest have attracted many artists and continue to do so. The forest has also become a centre for eco-tourism with outdoor activities including hiking and rock climbing.
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