“Napoleonland” Might Just Happen
January 24, 2012
Implausible as it may sound, a new amusement park based on the life and legend of Napoleon Bonaparte is being planned for Montereau-Fault-Yonne, the site of one of the general-cum-emperor’s final victories. If its creator and chief proponent, former French minister Yves Jégo, succeeds in raising the £180 million necessary to advance the plans, ”Napoleonland” could become an attraction on par with other popular French destinations Euro Disney and Parc Asterix.
As the Telegraph reports, the park will feature several attractions including military recreations of Napoleon’s most famed battles, from the highs (Austerlitz) to the lows (Waterloo), and a scaled, floating reproduction of the Battle of Trafalgar, both of which will encourage visitor participation. The high production values will also be evinced by period details such as the carefully placed battle cannons and dross that will litter the grounds, not too mention a ski run strewn with the “frozen bodies of soldiers and horses”–just how Martin Scorsese did it in Shutter Island! Of the polarizing nature of the historical figure in question–critics of Napoleon have qualified him as a despot while his defenders credit him as the originator of the European Union–Jégo says the park will not take any stands and has ostensibly thrown in the token museum for “educational” purposes. Rather, amid the reenacted beheadings of Louis XIV and the boiling of French soldiers at the hands of the Spanish reactionaries (this particular spectacle hasn’t been confirmed), Jégo insists that the park will be ”fun for the family.” If the project does manage to raise the funds, Jégo hopes that construction will being in 2014, with the park opening in 2017. Vive l’Empereur!