02-10-10 A Week In Paris: Bonaparte!

Napoleon, who conquered much of Europe, died at age 51 on the tiny island of St. Helena, where he had been exiled. Even today St. Helena is one of the most isolated places on earth. (See it on a map.) He was buried by the British in a grave with no name, primarily because of a dispute over which name should go on the tomb. Some wanted his full name – Napoleon Bonaparte. Others wanted the single name “Napoleon.” In France, kings went by a single name.

Almost 20 years later, Napoleon’s remains were returned to Paris, where he was given a state funeral and buried under the dome of Les Invalides, a church near a hospital complex for French soldiers. Napolean, who stood 5’4″ tall, is buried in a massive sarcophagus, the outer layer of which is made of porphyry marble. Inlaid marble lettering around his tomb commemorates his most famous victories. One battle not marked is Waterloo, which was his final defeat.

That’s enough history!

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