• Augustus & Josephine – Two Historical Icons in Paris

    by  • March 11, 2014 • City Breaks, Exhibitions, Paris

    As you’ll know from my previous blogs. Paris is never short on a good exhibition and this coming week sees the opening of two rather important commemorative homages to two historical greats from the Roman Empire and the reign of Napoleon.

    First up, opening tomorrow (12th March) at the Musée du Luxembourg is an exhibition entitled ‘Josephine’, commemorating the bicentenary of the death of Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Bringing together personal mementoes together with major works from her impressive collections of art, the exhibition provides a fascinating overview of Josephine’s life, from her lesser-known Creole origins (she was born in Martinique) and her passions for music, travel, birds and gardens to her marriage to Napoleon in 1792, her role as a sovereign and her life post-divorce (1809) until her death in 1814. Running until June 29th, the exhibition is open daily from 10am to 7.30pm (until 10pm on Mondays); entrance 11€ (7.50€ concessions).

    Meanwhile, over at the prestigious Grand Palais, the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Emperor Augustus – adopted son of Julius Caesar (his mother was Caesar’s niece) and ruler of Rome and the Roman Empire – is reason enough to bring together a unique collection of artefacts relating to this legendary leader. Opening to the public next week (from 19th March) and running through until the 13th of July, ‘I, Augustus, Emperor of Rome’ presents a selection of statues, sculpted reliefs, frescoes, silverware, items of furniture, in addition to reconstructions of a villa from Vesuvius and tombs uncovered in Gaul, bringing to life the 40-year reign of Augustus and celebrating some of his greatest achievements. Indeed, Augustus is credited to have been responsible for the golden age of the Roman Empire, boasting “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble”. The exhibition opens daily except Tuesday from 10am until 8pm (10pm on Wednesdays), tickets cost 13€ (9€ concessions).


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.