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Compiègne, Napoleon III and Eugenia: the crazy dictation

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

Napoleon III and empress Eugenie came in Compiègne: the life at that time was brilliant!

The emperor launched the famous “series”, in 1852. Séries? All the upper crust of French second Empire gathered here each autumn, for a week, with the emperor and his wife. Why? To have fun: 80 artists, scientists and crowned heads!

What’s on? Feasts, shows, strolls, board games... they even had the chance of sipping tea with Eugenie herself!

And they did a dictation, the famous one filled with spelling mistakes... Who won hands down, with 62 mistakes? Eugenie! But the lady was born Eugenia de Montijo... she wasn’t French at all! We forgive her!

Unfortunately French second Empire collapsed, and 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!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!