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Napoleon’s contributions to Paris, France, and the World

Posted by on November 20, 2018

Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the most famous French leaders or perhaps of the most famous leaders of all time, put his stamp on France and on the world through his military genius and very analytical-processing mind. His ability to multi-task like a supercomputer enabled him to enact reforms within the French government which helped the country advance further. One such legislation was the Napoleonic code which still in use today in some countries.

Les Invalides famous building people tombs graves

It’s where Napoleon Bonaparte’s body was moved to when the French government wanted his remains moved from St. Helena and back onto French soil.

church l'eglise iglesia area kirche les invalides paris parisian kings queens

The church section at Les Invalides is quite small but it was still spacious and a sign of things to come for the rest of the building…

dome building paintings pinturas en el techo ceiling

Even the dome was well designed and decorated! Anything and anywhere was a craftsman, artist, painter, sculptor, etc. who put in a lot of work into this place.

colors many lots colores Farben viele am Fenster ventana bonita

Even something as simple as a window was lavishly decorated with marble, gold, and other vibrant colors!

ceiling incredible marbled pillars ceiling

Even the pillars striking all the way to the top are not spared any cheapness. This was intentionally made all fitting for a king or god emperor which in this case, it was made for Napoleon I.

Even though Napoleon lost the Hundred Days’s War, he did not die in France but instead, he was exiled to the Atlantic island of St. Helena where supposedly he was poisoned while under the watch of British troops after his loss at Waterloo. It was only years later that the French government asked for his body to come back to France where he was buried in this grand sarcophagus in a place called Les Invalides. There are many famous French people buried there kind of like the Pantheon, but the grand emperor and king of all is Napoleon who has his own space and sees the sunlight gaze upon it so visitors can see his tomb.

napoleon bonaparte final resting place tomb elevated magnified impressive brown tombed

Here lies one of the most famous Generals and Leaders of all time: Napoleon Bonaparte.

military general leader king emperor napoleon I french francais roi rey

The French had already built this Les Invalides building but the main attraction of this show was obviously Napoleon’s. They spent quite a bit of money on making it very lavish, fitting for the once French leader who almost took all of Europe.

Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte burial tomb

Even Napoleon Bonaparte’s son from his second marriage, Napoleon II, was buried at Les Invalides. Even though Napoleon II did not actually rule France due to the coalition against Napoleon I would not accept this. Instead, Napoleon II held a royal title and moved to Austria where he was going to be a military leader but passed away due to catching pneumonia. Most of his body was buried at Les Invalides with the exception of his heart and intestines buried in Vienna which was a Hapsburg tradition.

The Arc de Triomphe is another one of Napoleon’s commissions after he won the Battle at Austerlitz, which today is considered his greatest military victory when he defeated a much larger Russian-Austrian allied/coalition army by using his knowledge of tactics and terrain to his advantage. Napoleon instructed to have an Arc, a memorial built in honor of those who died in the French Revolutionary War and in the Napoleonic Wars which led to France’s glory at the time.

Arc de Triomphe Napoleon traffic circle circulo de trafico en Paris France francia

The famous Arc de Triomphe which is probably shown in a lot of pictures of Paris.

This was also the period when Napeolon’s France was its greatest height of power and prestige due to his military genius, ability to direct the battle in key flashpoints to collapse enemy lines, and recovering the chaotic and disastrous period of the French Revolution which saw many heads fall at the guillotine. However, after the victory at Austerlitz, Napoleonic France started its slow downward slide as the construction of the Arc lasted for many years, well after Napoleon had died. When his body was moved from St. Helena, the French government at the time set up a route from the port to under the Arc and eventually to Les Invalides as his final resting place. The Arc back then represented itself as a symbol of what he accomplished for France, almost like how French militaries would parade their successful campaigns so it was fitting to have Napoleon’s body travel under the Arc.