Press release

Napoleon 2021: in the footsteps of the Emperor in Seine-et-Marne

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2021 marks the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I, which occurred on 5th May 1821 during his exile on the island of Saint Helena. A number of events are being organised in Seine-et-Marne, the history of which is marked by the Napoleonic epic, and the Department of Seine-et-Marne, the Town of Fontainebleau and the Château de Fontainebleau are joining forces to showcase the exceptional programme. A website dedicated to Napoleon I in Seine-et-Marne has just been launched.

Throughout his reign, and especially from the campaign in north-east France in 1813 to his farewell to the Imperial Guard in 1814, the Emperor and the Seine-et-Marne Department have been closely linked. As part of the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I, a number of events will be held throughout the territory of Seine-et-Marne until the end of the year.

The commemoration will notably give rise to a series of highlights and events organised by the Seine-et-Marne Department, the Town of Fontainebleau and the Château de Fontainebleau, and labelled "2021 The Year of Napoleon" by the Fondation Napoleon.

As part of this, a partnership was created to promote the events linked to the Napoleonic bicentenary in Seine-et-Marne, and to have the general public learn about the history of the Emperor in Seine-et-Marne.

From May onwards, the bicentenary will include exhibitions, conferences, historical reconstructions and guided tours: you can find the whole programme on the new website, which outlines every event organised in the department on the Napoleonic bicentenary. You will also learn about the main events marking the Emperor's passage through Seine-et-Marne and read a number of anecdotes about the famous historical figure. An English version of the site will be uploaded in the coming weeks.

A few highlights from the programme:

  • May-June-July: the Department gives carte blanche to sculptor Jean Gaudaire-Thor;
  • From 6th to 26th May: exhibition on "L’extraordinaire collection d’armes blanches de maître Prost" ("The extraordinary collection of cold weapons by Master Prost") organised by the Town of Fontainebleau at the municipal media library;
  • 7th May: reopening of the Emperor's library in the Petits Appartements after restoration and reopening of the redesigned and enriched Napoleon I museum - Château de Fontainebleau;
  • 18th, 19th & 20th May: scientific colloquium "La Seine-et-Marne et Napoléon Ier, intimité, pouvoirs et mémoires" ("Seine-et-Marne and Napoleon I, intimacy, powers and memories") - Department Archives & Château de Fontainebleau;
  • From September: exhibition "Un palais pour l’empereur, Napoléon à Fontainebleau" ("A palace for the Emperor, Napoleon at Fontainebleau") - Château de Fontainebleau;
  • 18th & 19th September: artistic light show at the Château du Martroy - Chauconin-Neufmontiers - Seine-et-Marne Department;
  • From 17th to 26th September: artistic residency of Thomas Hengelbrock and the Baltasar Neumann Ensemble, Napoleon and Music - Château de Fontainebleau;
  • October: historical reenactments - Château de Fontainebleau.

You can also download our tour application "In the footsteps of Napoleon I at Fontainebleau", designed by the Château de Fontainebleau and start-up company Little Globe Trotter. A fun, interactive tour will guide the whole family around the palace and gardens.


Press contacts:

  • Department of Seine-et-Marne: Pauline Maingre -
  • Château de Fontainebleau: Angeline Hervy -
  • Town of Fontainebleau: Sandrine Harrault -