One of the largest royal châteaux in France, the Palace of Fontainebleau has hosted some of the most notable of the country's kings, queens and aristocrats from the 12th Century onward. Its interiors feature an opulent and grandiose collection of ornamentation that run the gamut from wood paneling, gilded carvings and frescoes to fine art, tapestries and sculpture. Only the keep of the original 12th-century chateau built by King Louis VII still stands, the rest replaced by the exuberant reconstruction of the palace in the Renaissance style by King Francis I. Built to an aesthetic recently imported from Italy in the 16th Century, the chateau is one of the earliest examples of this kind of architecture in France. Over the subsequent years, Fontainebleau was expanded as successive generations of monarchs, including Henri II, Catherine de Médicis, Henri IV and Louis XVI, made their own additions. Known to have been adored by Napoleon Bonaparte I, Fontainebleau has played a major role in Europe's monarchical history. Henry the III, Louis the XII and Philip the Fair were all born here. Even Pope Pius VII stayed here for a time before the palace became the seat of the Second Empire of Napoleon III. Following World War II, the palace served as the headquarters of the Allied Forces and NATO. Today, it is a museum that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Surrounded by lush gardens, the Palace of Fontainebleau is the very epitome of opulence.