A historic weekend
In 2024, the château de Fontainebleau celebrates the 210th anniversary of Napoleon I’s abdication. The cour d’Honneur of the château is also known as the “cour des Adieux”, because it was at the foot of its Horseshoe Staircase that Napoleon I bid farewell to the Guard on 20 April 1814 before leaving for exile on the island of Elba. To mark the occasion, we invite you to step back in time and relive the twenty days leading up to and including the collapse of the Empire.
Twenty decisive days, between 31 March and 20 April 1814, marked the end of the Napoleonic era and shaped the future of France and Europe. A veritable political and military soap opera, these twenty days were the scene of complex and exciting negotiations between Napoleon I’s general staff and Tsar Alexander I, crucial exchanges between the European coalition forces and the Emperor, who had retreated to Fontainebleau, military intrigues and political U-turns.
During this unique weekend, more than 250 passionate re-enactors, surrounded by a team of actors, will bring this period of history to life.
Military demonstrations in the château’s gardens and courtyards, the setting up of a Napoleonic bivouac and the staging of everyday life in the early 19th century through the presence of small tradesmen in the English garden, reenactment of the famous scene of Napoleon I’s farewell to his loyal soldiers in the cour d’Honneur, and scenes played out in the rooms of the château de Fontainebleau to tell the story behind this historic moment !
It’s an unforgettable experience that will give us a better understanding of this key moment in French history, shed light on the great political and military figures who marked this period, and remind us that history shapes the contemporary world.