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The Chateau de Fontainebleau (Palace of Fontainebleau) is seen from the south side in France. The castle is surrounded by forest, which was the preferred hunting grounds of the French monarchy. It served as a royal residence from Louis VII to Napoleon III. After serving as a soldier in Napoleon's war and being injured a military campaign in Spain, Claude François Denecourt was put in charge of a barracks in Fontainebleau in 1830. According to historian Jean-Claude Polton, he became depressed until he started exploring the surrounding forest, which he fell in love with.