Glamour of a Dying Empire – the Apartments of Napoleon III in the Louvre

The Louvre was a magnificent royal palace, which quickly lost its status after the French Revolution of 1789. After King Louis XVI was executed, the mob looted the building and the empty halls were eventually filled with art masterpieces to turn it into the world-famous museum that we all know. Regardless of that fate, some parts of the palace continued to play its original role during the short periods of time when the French monarchy was restored.

A place well-worth visiting even during a short visit to the Louvre is the wing hosting the apartments of Napoleon III. The last French Emperor had quite a lot in common with his famous uncle Napoleon I. Both of them advanced their careers in times when France was a republic and then transformed it into a monarchy. However, the similarities end here. While Napoleon became the most powerful French ruler, who expanded the country through conquest, his nephew presided over the agony of the French Empire from which it never recovered. The defeat in the Franco-Prussian war put an end to the rule of Napoleon III and to the monarchy in France.

Nothing reminds of those turbulent years when you walk through the lavishly decorated rooms where Napoleon III, his family and his ministers once walked. The impression is difficult to express in words, that’s why I added all the pictures below. The nostalgic feeling of being transplanted, though temporarily, into that glamorous past probably haunts most of the visitors. An exception are the pickpockets, who do their work regardless of any feelings and are ready to pay for the 15-Euro ticket because they’ll make more inside.



Napoleon III



The bedroom


“Beware of pickpockets”


The large dining room


The small dining room

© 2016

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One Comment

  1. The Lone Ranger says:

    Thanks for this Admiwrath. I was there five years ago, but they didn’t have the pick-pocket signs up then!

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