9am – Meet your private English speaking driver guide in the lobby of your hotel and departure for a full day tour of Paris on Napoleon
Napoleon Bonaparte was barely 15 years old when he came to Paris for the first time in 1784, as a cadet recently admitted to the Ecole Militaire (Military Academy). Eight years later he found himself in the capital once again, and witnessed the desperate population taking over the streets while Louis XVI was attempting to escape. In 1799, when he staged a coup to overthrow the Directoire government and seized power, he already had great plans for Paris which was still a medieval-looking city devastated by ten years of revolution and anarchy. He proclaimed his ambition at once: "to turn Paris into the most beautiful capital in the universe". He had many reasons for this, one of which was to ensure that Parisians had work, perhaps to make them happy but certainly to keep them from rioting in the future. Napoleon Bonaparte also wanted to embellish the city, but this goal was not simply an esthetic one. The capital was also to reflect, with dignity, the glorious and grand image of its hero. Napoleon Bonaparte was vain, no doubt about it, but he was also a true visionary for this beloved city.
Les Invalides & Army museum
Les Invalides was built by King Louis XIV in the late 17th century. This huge and magnificent building was dedicated at hosting old and injured soldiers (hence the name: Les Invalides = “the invalids”). With Napoléon’s Grande Armée, the place hosted many new soldiers and became quickly the gathering point for all the Bonapartists in Paris. Even after Napoléon‘s death, many old soldiers were still gathering here, close to the impressive tomb of the Emperor.
Les Invalides and the Army museum are worth a visit: the museum is very complete, dealing with all the modern times of military history.
Arc of Triumph
On 17 February 1806 plans for “a column dedicated to the glory of the Grand Armee” (currently the Place Vendome column) were confirmed and on the 18th of February, an Imperial decree authorized the completion of the Pantheon and the “erection of a triumphal arch at the entry to the boulevard by the site of the former Bastille prison that upon entering the Saint-Antoine district, one would pass through this “triumphal arch”.
Lunch at leisure – Your guide will suggest you the best place to have lunch depending on your taste and requirements
After lunch, departure for a visit of Malmaison Castle Museum
Chateau de Malmaison was the home of Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, who bought it in 1799. Since then, Chateau de Malmaison served as the seat of government from 1800 to 1802 and then became Joséphine’s property in 1809 after the couple divorced.
After serving as her home and then, amongst other things, as a military barracks, Chateau de Malmaison became the property of the state.
Today, Chateau de Malmaison is open to the public, allowing visitors to view Napoleon's former bedroom and that where his first wife died. Frescos and paintings are found throughout and there is a museum dedicated to Napoleon in the grounds.
5pm- End of the tour at your hotel