The Napoleonic Museum, in memory of the Emperor

It was on the Ile d'Aix that Napoleon stayed from July 8 to 15, 1815, before surrendering to the British and leaving France for good.

As early as April 1808, Napoleon visited the island to inspect the work in progress, and decided to build Fort Liédot, a powder magazine and a house for the commander of the fort.

Seven years later, the house would be his last on French soil.

Indeed, in the summer of 1815, shortly after the defeat at Waterloo, the deposed Emperor had to leave Rueil-Malmaison, heading for Rochefort and then, from Fouras aboard the frigate La Saale, for the island of Aix on July 8. He and his family moved into the Commandant's house, which he had had built in 1808, where on July 13, 1815, he wrote his letter of surrender to the Prince-Regent of England.

 

The Emperor's House

Built between 1808 and 1809, the house that houses the museum is located on the south side of the island.

The Napoleonic Museum on the island of Aix is part of the Napoleonic National Museums and shares the Musée de France label with the nearby Musée Africain.

It houses furniture, weapons, clothing, portraits and various objects evoking the emperor's epic and legend, a collection of works of art, painted portraits, busts, miniatures, models and caricatures, often by leading figures such as Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Joseph Chinard, Andrea Appiani, Girodet-Trioson, George Cruikshank and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as a number of personal objects.

The Maison de l'empereur and its gardens are listed as a Monument Historique.

The pediment bears the inscription, "À la mémoire de notre immortel Empereur, Napoléon 1er, 15 juillet 1815. Everything was sublime about him, his glory and his setbacks. And his respected name hovers over the Universe."

The museum owes its existence to the efforts of Baron Napoléon Gourgaud - great-grandson of Baron Gaspard Gourgaud, Napoleon's companion on St. Helena - a classical and modern art lover and patron.

 

Located to the west of the Bay of Yves, between the Isle of Oleron (Boyardville) and the town of Fouras, Ile d'Aix, one of the fifteen Ponant islands, belongs to the Charente archipelago. Île-d'Aix is the smallest commune in Charente-Maritime, with a surface area of 1.19 km2.

 

Napoleonic Museum

30 rue Napoléon,
17123 L'Ile d'Aix
Tel.: 05 46 84 66 40


http://www.musees-nationaux-malmaison.fr

 

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