Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Napoleon's Graves

The Island of Saint Helena
                                                             Napoleon's First Grave

Napoleon's current resting place

 In 1840, King Louis-Philippe decided to transfer the body of the Emperor. French sails men, under the Prince de Joinville command, brought back the coffin to France, aboard the "Belle Poule" ship.
National funerals followed the return of the Emperor Napoléon I remains, transferred to the Invalides on December 15th 1840, while the tomb was being constructed. It was commissioned in 1842, by Louis-Philippe, to the architect Visconti (1791-1853), who made vast transformations by excavating largely the inside of the Dome church, to host the tomb. The body of the Emperor Napoléon I was laid there on April 2nd 1861.
The tomb, crafted in red porphyry from Russia, placed on a green granite base from the Vosges, is circled by a crown of laurels and inscriptions, reminders of the great victories of the Empire. In the round gallery, a series of low-relief, sculpted by Simart, represent the main actions of the reign. A statue of the Emperor, bearing the imperial emblems, was erected at the back of the crypt, above the tombstone under which the King of Rome lies.
The Dome Church also houses the sepultures of two of Napoléon's brothers, Jérôme and Joseph Bonaparte, Napoléon's son, the so-called eaglet, as well as the more recent ones of marshals Foch and Lyautey. The Musée de l'Armée is responsible for those.

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