Happy 249th birthday, Napoleon

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NEW ORLEANS — Happy Birthday to France’s highly decorated statesman and military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte.

You might’ve heard of him before.

I mean, he was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.

Wednesday is his 249th birthday, so we decided to celebrate New Orleans-style by traveling around the city to discover where Napoleon left his mark.

For starters, at M.S. Rau Antiques on Royal Street, there is a display called, “The Emperor in Art, Works that Pay Homage to Napoleon.”

“The French connection is very, very large here in New Orleans and in Louisiana. So, we kind of gravitate to our old roots,” says sales consultant Susan Lapene.

Ten unique pieces make up this collection, including Napoleon’s death mask and a sculpture of him on his death bed.

Just a few blocks over, we find the Napoleon House.

This is where Napoleon was going to live during his exile, but he never made it.

Next time you’re driving or taking a stroll, just look up at the street signs.

You’ll find Napoleon Avenue and two other side streets, Marengo and Austerlitz, peppered throughout the city.

Sound familiar? These are the names of two battles fought by French armies led by the birthday boy himself.

He even helped created the Napoleonic code, but what does it mean? It’s the first coherent set of laws concerning property, colonial affairs, the family, and individual rights.

We found out it’s the civil code to post-revolutionary France, and Louisiana is the only state in America that still abides by the Napoleonic code.

So, in honor of Napoleon’s birthday, our last stop was at Maurice French Pastries for a delicious Napoleon.

A Napoleon pastry is a sold with custard, whipped cream, or both, between three layers of puff pastry.

In all, Napoleon sure did leave a name for himself!


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