HISTORY OF MODERN FRANCE
From the Pre-Revolutionary period to the 3rd Republic 1770-1870 - Part IV
15 February 2023
Napoleon’s Paris, 1800-1814:
A New Rome?
with Chris Boïcos
Though Napoleon’s reign over France and his European conquests was brief (1800-1814) his impact on the political organization of the European continent but also the capital city of his Empire was profound. Under Napoleon, Paris was envisioned not only as the capital of the old kingdom of France but as the center of a vast new European Empire, effectively a new Rome.
In our lecture we will examine the Emperor’s grandiose plans for Paris, what was actually or partially realized, what was finished in the future and what never came to be. Among these are the curious Bastille Elephant, the new Tuileries palace and Louvre, the Bourse, Madeleine church, the greatest Arch of Triumph in the world and the never-built palace of the “King of Rome”. Napoleon brought the Paris out of the 18th century and began the process that culminated in the complete transformation of the city under his nephew Napoleon III.
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