The Apartment of Napoleon – The Salon of Abdication
Emperor Napoleon’s former inner drawing room, it is the first really ornate room after the antechamber and shows a marked difference compared to the rest of the apartments. The white woodwork is complemented by gold lining and framed by large crimson brocade panels. The same fabric covers the salon’s gilded wooden furniture, and the fireplace is decorated with ornate scrolls, rows of pearls, bees, eagles and a thunder bolt.
It was on the small pedestal table in the middle of the salon that one of the greatest episodes in the ’French history happened: Napoleon Istsigned the Act of Abdication between 4th and 6th April 1814 under pressure from his marshals to relinquish power.
Emperor Napoleon’s Small Bedroom
Originally Emperor Napoleon’s private library, this room was transformed into a small bedroom on his orders.
The Emperor had a small iron bed with a gilded bronze crown and the green curtains – the Empire's celebrated colour of choice.
The large flat mahogany desk featuring bronze chiselled ornaments and gilding by Jacob, letNapoleon alternated between work and sleep during the long nights.
Next to the bed on the right is a back door leading to the mahogany staircase Napoleon used to directly enter the library in his ‘Petits Appartements’.
This is the most important room in the apartment. Built into Louis XVI’s former ‘powder room’ (used for washing), this stately room was richly refurbished in 1808 with a sculpted and gilded bed flanked on each corner by columns with pedestals representing the figures of Nobility, Glory, Abundance and Justice.
The doors and panelled wainscoting are ornately gilded with emblems of victories which add to the imposing presence in the imperial bedroom. Yet it was in this setting on the night of April 12th to 13th 1814 that Napoleon attempted to poison himself following his abdication. He was rescued and came to his senses. Amazed to be live, he exclaimed: “God does not will it!“