When Napoleon Bonaparte arrived at the stunning seaside resort of Golfe-Juan on the Cote d’Azur Napoleon on March 1, 1815, it wasn’t a holiday he had in mind. Unlike those of us who go there for the sea, sand and sunshine, the quirky shops and art galleries in the quaint and narrow winding streets, the local gastronomy – Napoleon was there for a quite different reason.
He had just escaped exile on the island of Elba and with 600 men under his command he was bent on return and revenge. His march to Paris, commemorated by the Route Napoléon, and the campaign that led to his ultimate defeat at the Battle of Waterloo are known as the “Hundred Days”.
Golfe-Juan, a historic shoreline
The bicentenary of Napoleon’s landing in Golfe-Juan will take place Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1st 2015 when a major re-enactment event will take place.
After landing, Napoleon took a short rest in what was then just a little fishing hamlet, this “land of the brave”. By the light of a lantern he declared “Victory will march at ‘the pas de charge’, the eagle fly in the national colours from steeple to steeple until it alights on the towers of Notre-Dame”.
His proclamation induced fear in the monarchs of Europe and the famous route he took later became known as the “Route Napoleon”. In 1932 it became the first ever French Tourist route of a historical nature.
Napoléon in Golfe-Juan
In March 2015 a huge re-enactment of the landing takes place with old rigging, actors, Napoleonic troops, weapons and campaign equipment. For a few days during this highly original spectacle, the town and all of its activities take on an imperial flavour. Visitors will discover exhibitions, soldiers’ bivouacs on the beach, windows decorated and shop staff dressed up in costume and many events such as war games and a temporary post office.
It promises to be an amazing weekend of historic proportions in the heart of the French Riviera…
Find out more: www.visitcotedazur.travel