The Napoleon exhibition at the Grande Halle de La Villette opens 28th May 2021

After being ready for six weeks but unable to open because of lockdown, one of the biggest exhibitions of the year is finally going to be able to open its door at the end of May – Napoleon.

At last – a date has been fixed for opening perhaps the biggest exhibition of the year in Paris.

Organised by the Grand Palais and la Villette, in collaboration with the Army Museum, the Louvre, the château of Versailles and others, over 150 original pieces are being brought together for the first time in a staging that promises to be absolutely epic!

The exhibition, which falls on the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death, presents his life chronologically and by theme, with nine main sections:

1779 – 1784: Brienne

1795 – 1799: A soldier of the Revolution

— Napoleon’s Republic

— The Emperor: his consecration and the spledour of his court

— The emperor, the emperesses, the king of Rome

— The war leader

1805 – 1813: Napoleon and l’Europe

1808 – 1814: The decline

1815: The last days

The exhibition also tackles some of Napoleon’s seedier sides – how he reestablished slavery, his reputation as an autocrat, how he acted above the law, how he reinforced unfavourable marital conditions for women…

Related to the exhibition, in addition to the usual guided visits (for families – 90 minutes – and kids – 60 minutes) and workshops (including a 32€ drawing workshop for adults and five different ones for children), you might be interested in:

Si l’Empereur m’était chanté…, a musical parade by the Republican Guard on 18th April in front of the Grande Halle (a 2, 2.30, 4.3 and 5pm)

Quand l’Histoire prend vie!, an historical reconstitution in costume, led by the Sergent Gourneau 17ème Léger Association on Sunday 16th May 2021 from 10am-6pm,

— a free outdoor showing of Abel Gance’s film Napoléon Bonaparte on 18th July 10.15pm,

Mon P’tit Bivouac, a fun but instructive space at the end of the exhibition where kids over 6 can express themselves freely,

— a smartphone app with a presentation of the exhibition, an audiodescription guided tour for the visually impaired and blind, and (for 3.5€) an audioguide with a description of 34 works for adults, and 20 for kids, all in English!

Exposition Napoléon à la Grande Halle de La Villette à partir du 28 mai 2021

If you speak some French (and have a VPN, if you’re abroad) you might like to get a sneak peak of the exhibition by watching a guided tour with French royalty / history expert Stéphane Bern here. It’s available until 14th May.

The Napoleon exhibition is at the Grande Halle de La Villette (here) opens (at last!) on 28th May 2021

Open every day from 10am-7pm

Admission: 20€ / 15€

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To check out the full press release (with some English), simply click the ‘fullscreen’ button at the bottom right of the image below.