Fontainebleau Palace, Paris

The most famous feature of the front of the Fontainebleau Palace is the grand horseshoe stairs, first built during the reign of Henry II. The present stairs date to the 17th Century. Napoleon gave his famous farewell speech on April 20, 1814 on the steps before being exiled to Elba. It must have been difficult for him?!

This is his speech following his abdication to his soldiers:

 SOLDIERS, I bid you farewell. For twenty years that we have been together your conduct has left me nothing to desire. I have always found you on the road to glory. All the powers of Europe have combined in arms against me.

A few of my generals have proved untrue to their duty and to France. France herself has desired other destinies; with you and the brave men who still are faithful, I might have carried on a civil war; but France would be unhappy. Be faithful, then, to your new king, be obedient to your new commanders, and desert not our beloved country.

Do not lament my lot; I will be happy when I know that you are so. I might have died; if I consent to live, it is still to promote your glory. I will write the great things that we have achieved.

I can not embrace you all, but I embrace your general. Come, General Petit, that I may press you to my heart! Bring me the eagle, that I may embrace it also! Ah! dear eagle, may this kiss which I give thee find an echo to the latest posterity! Adieu, my children; the best wishes of my heart shall be always with you: do not forget me!

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