Posted 8 years ago
Napoleon’s tomb lies under the dome of les Invalides.
When Septimus and Clara Miller visited Paris in 1907 they purchased two cards of the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. These cards attest to their fascination for Bonaparte and the events that had happened less than a hundred years beforehand.
The site of Napoleon’s tomb is a fascinating story in itself. His body lies in the area under the great dome of Les Invalides, a building that had been created as a chapel for the royal family by the Sun King Louis XIV between 1677 and 1706.
During the French Revolution it became known as the Temple de Mars.
In 1800 the First Consul Bonaparte ordered that the body of Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, comte de Turenne (1611-1675) be placed in a tomb at Les Invalides. Turenne was one of the great military figures of France, a man much admired by Napoleon.
Napoleon had written extensively of Turenne's military exploits and he was attempting to undo a wrong committed during the Revolution.
In July 1793 the government of the new French Republic ordered the destruction of the tombs of the Kings of France, to celebrate the first anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy (August 10).
That meant that all the bodies interred at the royal basilica at St Denis were exhumed, inspected and in some cases mutilated in an acts of “Damnatio memoriae” - a form of dishonor that in ancient times could be passed by the Roman Senate upon traitors or others who had brought discredit to the Roman State.
Lead coffins and metal artifacts were melted down and recast as weapons against the forces that were still attempting to overthrow the Revolution.
The bodies were then thrown into a pit grave!
One body however escaped the pit: the body of Marshall Turenne. For seven years the corpse was moved from site to site until Napoleon took the action to find him a final resting place at les Invalides in 1802.
In 1808 after becoming the Emperor of the French, Napoleon repeated this process on 26 May by transferring Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban’s heart to a mausoleum erected opposite Turenne's.
Perhaps Napoleon had chosen a site for his final resting place?
This is a postcard published by N.D. Phot No. 50: Neurdein et Cie (1860’s-1919) Paris, France.
to be continued .....