Napoleon finally gets his grand finale (1840)


 
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Written by: 360.org
 

Friday, 15 December 2017


1840 -

Today in 1840 the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte was buried. Again. His body, or better his remains were put to rest on 15 December in the Dôme des Invalides, Paris. Nineteen years after the French emperor’s death.



Harsh treatment
Napoleon died on May 5, 1821 at the age of 51 on St Helena where he lived his ‘exile live’, being kept there by the British government. His health deteriorated while he lived on St Helena, according to his doctor because of the harsh treatment. Already very sick, he told the people around him that he wanted to be buried on the banks of the Seine in France. But the British governor said he must be buried on St Helena.

A state funeral
Louis Philippe I was King of France at that time. Only in 1840 he got permission to bring Napoleon Bonaparte back to Paris to give him a state funeral. Despite the cold, the city was covered by spectators. Some rooftops were filled with people.
The French poet Victor Hugo described the historical moment.

"O frozen sky! and sunlight pure! shining bright in history!
Funereal triumph, imperial torch!
Let the people's memory hold you forever,
Day beautiful as glory,
Cold as the tomb

Napoleon’s mausoleum, designed by Louis Visconti, can still be visited in Paris.



360 trivial fact
Napoleon is mostly mentioned being very short. But according to descriptions made when he died, he was five-foot-six, which was actually about average at the time.

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