2021 Napoleon Year: key events
Paris Region is assembling a host of events commemorating Napoleon I and the Empire period. On the occasion of the bicentenary of his death in 2021, discover an extraordinary program ranging across the entire year and the whole region, in locations as remarkable as the Château de Fontainebleau that was so dear to the Emperor’s heart, unique exhibitions at the Musée de l’Armée and under La Villette’s Grande Halle, or historical reconstructions in the gardens of the Grand Trianon in Versailles and Fontainebleau. The Arc de Triomphe, the Pantheon, the Château de Malmaison…
Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon in the Paris Region.
Napoleon: exhibitions and shows
Explore a selection of exhibitions and shows to mark the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon, telling the incredible story of a complex character, admired by some and vilified by others, victorious and defeated, heroic and tragic… with a romantic legend that continues to fascinate to this day. A man of war but also a patron and lover of the arts and architecture, Napoleon I was an advocate of the excellence of French know-how in cabinet-making, goldsmithing and fashion… Do you know the real story behind his last moments… his funeral… and the return of his ashes? Though depicted endlessly, what is his real face… and who is the man behind the legend? What remains of his legacy two hundred years after his death ? Find the answer to these fascinating questions and topics at the exhibitions and events being held throughout the year in the Paris Region.
Napoleon: historical reconstructions
Relive the great hours of the Napoleonic era through major historical frescoes staged by enthusiastic and fascinating costumed re-enactors. For a weekend in September, the famous regiments of the Empire come to life in the gardens of the Trianon in Versailles, while a more intimate Napoleon is revealed in Rambouillet for a unique weekend on 9 and 10 October. Still in October, the Emperor, preparing to go into exile on the island of Elba, delivers his famous farewell speech of 20 April 1814 to his loyal soldiers in the main courtyard of the Château de Fontainebleau. Military camps, bivouac, review of the troops, cannon fire… History has never seemed so real and Napoleon so present two hundred years after his death!
Napoleon and the Empire in Paris Region
The Arc de Triomphe in the Place de l’Étoile, its sister in the Carrousel du Louvre, the Vendôme column, the Panthéon… Napoleon’s Paris is a tribute to his “Grande Armée” and military conquests. But going beyond the military architecture, Napoleon’s presence is also found in many major cultural sites in the Paris Region. In the Château de Fontainebleau that he loved so much, the Château de Rambouillet and its hunting grounds, the Château de Malmaison where he lived in complete privacy with Joséphine, his first wife… he left his mark and vision of the greatness of France, even going as far as to create the Légion d’honneur medal to reward civilian merit and military bravery. Today, he rests beneath the dome of the Invalides in a red quartzite tomb placed on a green granite plinth, watched over by his Marshals of the Empire and the memory of his victorious battles.
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- Copyright image: Atelier van François Pascal Simon baron Gérard