On This Day – Napoleon Bonaparte and La Colonne de la Grande Armée

Even though travel restrictions are easing I am not yet minded to risk it so I still have no new stories to post so I continue to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.

On 18th August 2013 I was in Boulogne in Northern France…

La Colonne de la Grande Armée

La Colonne de la Grande Armée is a monument constructed in the 1840s and is a fifty-three metre-high column topped with a statue of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

It marks the location of the base camp where Napoleon  assembled an army of eighty thousand men all reeking of garlic, singing  ‘La Marseillaise’ and impatient to invade England.  It was initially intended to commemorate a successful campaign, but this proved to be rather premature and as he didn’t quite manage that it now remembers instead the first distribution of the Imperial Légion d’honneur.

Like most of history’s tyrants there are not many statues of Bonaparte but although there are no statues of Stalin or Hitler or Franco for example a few of Napoleon remain.  In addition to this one there are two in Paris at Les Invalides and another at Place Vendome, there are two statues of him depicted as Mars the Peacemaker, one at Aspley House in London (the home of the Duke of Wellington) and another in Milan and there is a monument to him in Warsaw in Poland to commemorate the establishment of the Duchy of Warsaw by Napoleon in 1807.

I confess that I have always been an admirer of Napoleon, setting aside his aggressive military ambitions I tend to concur with the assessment of British historian Andrew Roberts…

“The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on—were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire.”

Read The Full Story Here…

Click on an image to scroll through the Gallery…

23 responses to “On This Day – Napoleon Bonaparte and La Colonne de la Grande Armée

  1. You can measure the worth of Napoleon by the numbers who came to his funeral. Hundreds of thousands, and this was 19 years after he died.

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  2. Tyrant or hero? I rather liked him too 🙂 🙂

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  3. His Mairie system was all around us in Sigoules

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  4. Another story of a dictator…

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  5. No wonder it’s still standing . . . it’s out of reach of angry mobs. I mean, who’d want to climb that monument to take down the statue?

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  6. There are statues of him (I think three) in his hometown of Ajaccio Corsica (France.) I saw one when we were there

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  7. I made the comment about Ajaccio. Don’t know why name didn’t appear.

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  8. Pingback: It’s Nice To Feel Useful – Top Picks | Have Bag, Will Travel

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