Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Napoleon's Death Mystery

Every country has dozens of stories about the mysterious death of their beloved leaders/heroes - John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, Subhas Chandra Bose… are a few that instantly come into my mind at least...

Likewise, the French too never get tired of stories about the death of their greatest warrior Napoleon Bonaparte! I always thought that napoleon died due to stomach cancer, but most of the French people refuse it and call it he was poisoned!  There’s more than enough of mystery around napoleons death, burial, tomb and even on his DNA!

The greatest emperor of Europe - Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to St. Helena – an island in the Atlantic Ocean, after loosing his final battle at the #waterloo in 1815. He was in the custody of British for 6 years and died at St. Helena in 1821. Ever since, the circumstances of his demise have been creating a lot of debate.

Arsenic Poisoning:
Autopsy reports of Napoleon shows high amount #arsenic in his body, which is more than a poison. Many of the French believe that the British might have poisoned napoleon fearing that he might escape the #exile again* and reconquer the France!

(* Even before the Waterloo, Napoleon had lost the “Battle of #montmartre” in 1814 and was exiled to the Elba Islands. Brave Napoleon spent nine months of exile at the Elba - only to plan and regain the Paris back. But, this time he was out of luck, he could led France only for the next 100 days till he was defeated again at Waterloo and exiled to St. Helena Islands where he died)

But the doubt of poisoning got strengthened when Napoleon’s coffin was dug-up in 1840 from Helena and bring it back to France. There was the surprise: His body was intact in perfect condition even after 25 years of burial !.

This made the scientist to suggest that Napoleon might have slowly poisoned with arsenic - which is apparently one of the most effective preservative too!

Le retour des cendres 
Another conspiracy was around the “#retour_des_Cendres – the return of the remains of Napoleon from St. Helena to Paris.

18 October, 1840 the coffin of Napoleon was exhumed  St.Helena and transferred to the ship “Belle Poule ” sailing back to Paris. The trip from #Helena to Paris was too long over two months, in between the body of napoleon was shifted twice to different boats, giving ample opportunities for speculations J

There are some stories saying the body buried at Les #Invalides in Paris is not actually Napoleon’s, but it was one of napoleons caretakers from St.Helena!. These people are still asking to exhume his body again from the Invalides and do go for a DNA test !

Napoleon remains in news even after he dies! His death, burial, ashes, tomb…everything are still a matter of debate!

Read the detailed history at : 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Les Invalides - Musée de l'Armée - Église du Dôme

Les Invalides, also called as “Hôtel des Invalides” meaning to “The National Residence of the Invalids”, is a building complex in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The big campus houses three museums (Musée de l'Armée, Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the military museum), and a Cathedral of Saint-Louis.

King Louis XIV constructed this huge campus in 1670 with a main purpose to provide accommodation and hospital care for wounded soldiers (you can still see a hospital and rooms of retirement home), along with the large Church (Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides). Some of the wounded/died war heros of France were buried here, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte!

All the three museums and church/burial site all put up around French army, hence you can see all the exhibits of their old armor, canons, pictures explaining their war strategies, many artifacts, war forms, …and even their tombs.

One of the highlights of anyone whio wants to visit to Les Invalides is of course to see the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was interesting to learn about about his history and was surprised to know that his body was first buried at St. Helena by the Britsish, and later his remains were unearthed and carried to De Invalides Paris in 1840.

To inginite your interest towards the french history (escpecially about Napoleon), French Military, and to embrace the French architecture, the Les Invalides should be on your itinerary!!!,  

You’ll be amused. #napoleon   #invalides  #bonaparte  #helena

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eiffel Tower

What could be an iconic picture of Paris other than the incredible Eiffel Tower!. After making a quick drop off at the hotel, by default we also started our trip with a visit to the Eiffel Tower.

#Eiffel tower doesn’t need any introduction to anyone in the world, right? There are millions of people across the world have dreamt long time for seeing this structure in reality, myself included!. Once I took my first sight of its magnificence, I was just mesmerized and comprehended that dreams too come true.

Of course, In today’s standard the 324 meters (1,063ft) high Eiffel tower is not a miracle, but not to forget that it was built in 1889 and held the title of world’s tallest building for many decades. I was excited to know that tower faced a lot of criticism & protest from the people of Paris, fearing that this metal structure might spoil the credibility of beautiful Parisian architecture.

It’s #Gustave Eiffel – the designer of this wonder had just changed those criticisms to exclamations; you can see his anger statements of Gustave “
"My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?"
He’s true. Though his creature doesn’t have any of the antiqueness that the pyramids do, the eiffel tower undoubtedly has turned out to be one of the most famous buildings of the world, and an iconic symbol for the City of Love.

You can see the Eiffel Tower from almost all over the city of Paris, but you’d feel it’s fullness only when you climb to the top floor. The tower is open almost all through the day, you can visit from 9am to midnight, subject to the time & weather of the season.

Upto the second floor, youc an use the stairs (obvious, its not even an option for lazy chaps like me, I took the lift from the ground:). But, everyone must take a lift from the 2nd floor if you want to climb the top – to enjoy the real beautiful view of the Paris Skyline.

The first floor contains a restaurant, expositions, various presentations about the Eiffel tower and other famous attractions of the city, a souvenir shop, a cinema showing information about everything related to the Tower’s history and so on…

The second floor too homes a number of displays, a restaurant and a beautiful (??) view to the ground (don’t try to look down if you’re afraid of heights!). You can see a wall full of pcitures explaining the history of the tower again and its height comparision with other famous tall buildings all over the world.

The Top floor – wow that was amazing. The views you get from 1st and 2nd floor are no way comparable to the top one. You get a 360 degree view of Paris and surronding areas, truly mind blowing!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Trip to Paris

Paris has been the “City of Love” for years; but I must admit that I have been falling in love with the city itself!

My interest towards France and Paris had started from MY TRIP TO PONDICHERRY,INDIA. I was very much excited and just attracted to their fantastic history, beautiful architecture, delicious food But, I never imagined that might visit Paris so soon. Lucky me :)

We had two wonderful days in Paris this weekend. Bit sad that two days is really short, we missed so many wonderful places, still managed to wander around some of the main attractions: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Les Invalides, Notre-Dame, Triumphal Arch, Madeleine Church, Pont Alexander III , Petit Palais, Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries), Concorde Square (Place de la Concorde) and Grand Palais. Will try to write about each of them.

But this short visit to these attractions has only increased my adoration to the city. I must come here again at least a week - to walk for hours down the main streets to narrow roads, cherish more time at the museums, to stop-by a café for lattes and macaroons, to applaud their fashion, a little bit of shopping and generally loving every corner of the gorgeous city of Paris. #TRAVELOGUE #PARIS

Friday, July 15, 2016

What's the name of this country?

Most of us think “Holland” as the same as “The Netherlands”. Isn’t it?

Oh yes!, but we’re wrong!!. 

Holland and The Netherlands are not the same. What is the difference between Holland and the Netherlands then?  Hmm.... To answer the question, I must go little into history and geography :)

Holland Vs. The Netherlands:
The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces: Groningen, Friesland,  Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, North-Holland, South-Holland, Zealand, North Brabant and Limburg.

Two of them - North Holland and South Holland are the home for the major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague (Den Hague), Delft, Leiden and Haarlem

These were the cities which established all the trading routes during ancient times; made the major influence to the entire nation’s economy and wealth. Most of the time the sailor response would be that he was from Holland wherever he goes. Ever since the name “Holland” became the synonym to indicate the entire country.

Got it? Great, don’t be too happy yet, because it's going to get a bit more complicated :).. Now the question is: 

What is  “Kingdom of the Netherlands”?.

The Netherlands / Holland is just one country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the kingdom contains three more countries and six more Caribbean islands. 

Little surprised, Isn't it? some more interesting history behind...

It was once “The Dutch Republic” aka “The Republic of Seven United Netherlands” until the 16th Century, comprising roughly to the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Then in 1795, the whole area was conquered by the French troops and became the “Batavian Republic”.

King Napoleon appointed his brother Louis as the king of these low lands in 1806, turning the country into a kingdom. But soon after Napoleon’s defeat, Belgium and Luxemburg got separated around 1830 from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

From then the todays’s Kingdom of the Netherlands evolved consisting of four, equal constituent countries (The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten).

And while you may be surprised to know about these four countries in one kingdom, it doesn't stop there here too, because the country of the Netherlands also spreads its boundaries to three more Caribbean islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba !!!

Too much confusions and you really need some summary, right? Here you go: 6 Caribbean islands, four countries, twelve provinces, two Hollands, two Netherlands and one kingdom, all together – It’s DUTCH !

#Holland #Netherlands #kingdomeofthenetherlands #Islands #dutchrepublic #batavian

Friday, July 8, 2016

Moving to The Netherlands

Here, under the tag #MOVING-TO-HOLLAND, I am sharing some of the practical useful information about moving to and living in the Holland. These are all the things I wish I knew before I first arrived here.

So bad that I had not much/ no knowledge about the Netherlands, before I actually moved-in here ; I must admit that I couldn’t even spot this country in world map at one point of time; so good was my cognizance towards the Netherlands :)

But now more than ever, I can tell you what it’s all about to live in this country as an Expat.

My move-in journey to the Netherlands was so vague; it’s unfortunate that there was not much practical facts, especially the things what an Indian will be looking for. And I really had to spend a lot of time and effort to battle the storm!

I thought that some of my stories would resonate with many of you people who envision a new life at the Netherlands, and that some of my experiences could serve as a guide to help overcome some of the surprises and challenges that I went through.

Hope it’s useful!  #holland #netherlands #indiansinnetherlands