One Word Photo Challenge: Saffron

The beautiful dome of Les Invalides. I took this photo around 2.00 in spring. The clear day made the colours sing.

The beautiful dome of Les Invalides. I took this photo around 2.00 in spring. The clear day made the colours sing.

The sun shone bright upon Hardouin-Mansart’s golden dome of Les Invalides as we prepared to worship at Napoleon’s tomb one April in Paris. Rich in history, it was stormed by Parisian rioters on the 14th July 1789 who inconsiderately helped themselves to the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars and used them to damage the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840 and In December 1894 the shocking degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held in front of the main building, and he was there in 1906 again when he was restored to favour.

Napoleon’s sarcophagus rests on a green granite pedestal.  According to the officials, “It contains a nest of six coffins: one made of soft iron, another of mahogany, two others of lead, one of ebony and finally the last one of oak. Napoleon is dressed in his Colonel’s uniform (of the cavalry of the Guard) which bears his sash of the Légion d’Honneur. His hat rests on his legs.” The state of his legs and hat are not mentioned. Also the sarcophagus is said to be of “red porphyry“, but that was too hard to get I understand at the time so it is in fact of aventurine quartzite, similar to porphyry, from quarries in Karelia, Northern Russia on the shore of the Onega lake. (Make sure you find any excuse to drop this into any conversation to particularly impress your friends.)

I could go on but I am assuming that this is enough information for even the most determined reader for now..

I realise that being a confessed Francophile I should worship Napoleon. At the risk of offending I must confess that after reading Christopher Hibbert’s biography of him, I do not. Quelle horreur!

One Word Photo Challenge: Saffron

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “One Word Photo Challenge: Saffron

  1. Beautiful photo. When I was eleven, I read Anne-Marie Selinko’s Desiree and for the next four years worshiped Napoleon. I thought the book was very risque, which added to its charm, but it was really just romantic. I’d like to see the tomb, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have ‘Desiree’ on our shelf at this very moment and it is a favourite. The tomb is spectacular and definitely something to see but I must confess that after reading Christopher Hibbert’s biography of Napoleon I became less enamoured with him and his rapacious family. Thanks so much for commenting and for following! Best wishes! 🙂

      Like

  2. Pingback: One Word Photo Challenge: Bittersweet | Jennifer Nichole Wells

  3. Pingback: Warm inner glow | La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s