Compiègne, Napoleon III and Eugenia: the crazy dictation

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Eugenia's living-room, where the Séries took place - ©Daniel VILLAFRUELA / CC-BY-SA Eugenia's living-room, where the Séries took place - ©Daniel VILLAFRUELA / CC-BY-SA
Compiègne castle Castle Festivities Prosper Mérimée Napoléon III Eugénie de Montijo

Later, Napoléon III and empress Eugénie came in Compiègne: the life at that time was brilliant! The emperor launched the famous “series”, in 1852. Séries? Yes! It means all the upper crust of the French second Empire gathered here in order to have fun: about 80 artists, scientists and crowned heads gathered here each autumn, for a week, with the emperor and his wife.

What’s on? Feasts, shows, strolls, board games... they even had the chance of sipping tea with Eugénie herself! And they did a dictation, the famous one filled with spelling mistakes... Who won hands down, with 62 mistakes? Eugénie! But the lady was born Eugenia de Montijo... she wasn’t French at all! We forgive her!

But hey, party was over... The French second Empire collapsed, Prussians occupied the castle in 1870. Then a fire destroyed apartments in the beginning of the 20th century. Fortunately for us, Compiègne was restored and we can visit the estate!


And also!