Learn about the life and legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte, the former Emperor of France, on this 3-hour walking tour. With a historian as your guide, you’ll visit École Militaire, Place Vendôme, the Legion of Honor, Les Invalides and the Louvre Museum, and uncover how each famous Paris landmark is connected to Napoleon. Hear about his rise to military and political fame during the French Revolution and beyond. This small-group tour is limited to just 10 participants.
End your Napoleon walking tour at Les Invalides where Napoleon is buried
Meet near the Ecole Militaire in the morning for your 3-hour walking tour of Paris’ Napoleon sites. On this tour, your expert historian guide provides illuminating commentary on one of the most prominent figures in French history, Napoleon Bonaparte (or Napoleon I).
After an overview of Napoleon’s Corsican childhood, visit the École Militaire, one of the finest military academies in the world, and where Napoleon trained to become a military officer. He was the first Corsican to graduate from here.
It's this training, as your historian points out, that groomed him to become a brilliant officer and later general during the French Revolution. In 1804, at the age of 29, he became the Emperor of France, earning him the moniker Napoleon I.
Walk around the 1st arrondissement, which he established, to discover the many monuments related to him. Visit Place Vendôme, a square with an imposing column commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz. Then learn about the 13 Vendémiaire battle as you walk down Rue St-Honoré, where the fighting took place.
Stroll down famous Rue de Rivoli, which bears the name of Napoleon's victory against the Austrian army at the Battle of Rivoli in 1797. Pass the Palais-Royal, the former royal palace where Napoleon would supposedly meet colleagues to discuss politics and hold court meetings.
Perhaps it was there that Napoleon discussed his plans for a museum of art that we now know today as the prestigious Louvre. During his leadership, the emperor pillaged works of art from all the countries around Europe that he invaded and conquered. He confiscated riches of the Church and objects left behind after exiles, among other spoils from countries such as Belgium, Italy, Prussia and Austria. Consequently, he ordered a series of alterations to the Louvre to accommodate the treasures, and officially dubbed it the Musée Napoléon in 1803 (most of the loot was returned to its owners by 1815).
After an art history lesson, cross the Seine to visit the Palace of the Legion of Honor, home of the National Museum of the Legion of Honor, that is located in a historic building called the Hôtel de Salm. The Legion of Honor is the name of the French order that Napoleon established in 1802 to create a system of rewards for civilians and soldiers not based on chivalry or nobility, but instead on merit.
Finally, arrive at the steps of Les Invalides, where Napoleon is buried. Your guide will leave you here, and you’re welcome to enter to see the emperor’s tomb (own expense).