Napoléon et Ses Frèrès

Napoléon et Ses Frèrès is a monument in Ajaccio, portraying Napoleon Bonaparte and his brothers.

The monument is located within the 2 hectare (4.9 acre) Place de Gaulles quare, which, when it was completed 1802, was first called ‘Place Bonaparte‘.

In designing the square, Maltese architect Petrucci used late 18th century city planning principles, with emphasis on rationalism combined with ancient aesthetic construction principles.

Napoleon et ses freres monument Ajaccio France

PHOTO: The monument, as seen from Place du Générale de Gaulle, not too far from the square’s terraces, which offer great views to the Bay of Ajaccio.

Place du Generale de Gaulle Ajaccio France

PHOTO: Place du Générale de Gaulle, one of the most beautiful squares in the city. The adjacent restaurants and trattorias are also among the most popular in Ajaccio.

The monument was added to the square during the Second French Empire, to honor the achievements of Napoleon and his brothers.

Within the monument, you’ll find…

  • an equestrian statue of Napoleon I, dressed in ancient roman style,
  • surrounded by statues of Napoleon’s brothers: Joseph, Lucien, Louis, and Jérôme.

The monument was designed by Viollet-le-Duc, with the bronze statues the handwork of artists:

  • Antoine-Louis Barye,
  • Petit,
  • Gabriel Thomas, and
  • Maillet.

1865 was the year when the monument was revealed to the public, and at the time a placate was added to it, reading:

“To the memory of Napoleon and his brothers, grateful Corsica. This monument was build during the reign of Napoleon III under the direction of Prince Napoléon-Jérôme with donations, and revealed May 15th 1865”.

A small scandal happened on the day of the monument’s revealing, when Prince Napoléon-Jérôme gave a speech, where he heavily criticized the emperor’s way of governing France.

Due to the scandal, the Prince had to resign as a council to the emperor, and also from his position of a director for the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle.