Monday, December 28, 2015

Île-d'Aix

The Napoleon Museum at Île-d'Aix

Île d'Aix is a small island in the Atlantic between the Ile d'Oléron and the coast of mainland France (population in 2012: 241).

Map of Île-d'Aix

In July 1815 Napoleon spent his last days in France at Ile d'Aix, after the defeat at Waterloo. His plan was to slip past the Royal Navy blockade and escape to the United States.

Napoleon's room (photo by Gérard Blot) 

After realizing how impossible this plan was he wrote a letter to the British ruler, the Prince Regent, begging for mercy, and then surrendered to captain Frederick Maitland, commander of HMS Bellerophon, who took him to Plymouth before transferring him to Saint Helena. Nowadays the house where he spent these few days is a museum.

Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon (by William Quiller Orchardson, 1880).

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1 comment:

  1. Coincidentally, I just saw a travel show on Saint Helena tonight. I hadn't thought about the place much, but fascinating as hell. Apparently a new airport will open there soon.

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