Napoleonic history has marked our cities in France and in Europe.
This heritage deserves to be better known, better highlighted, better shared, better visited. It is around these observations that we wanted to create a federation of European cities of Napoleonic history. In the action of the great man, it is the values of the Revolution, of the Age of Enlightenment, the ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity that bind us together. Rehabilitating historic sites, encouraging historical research, promoting our museums and living culture, opening ourselves up to the citizens of our countries and of Europe, it is to follow the complex, contradictory and sometimes antagonistic paths by which these ideals have imposed themselves in Europe. The dozens of European cities gathered in this movement thus want to contribute to the promotion of their own image, by reviving a considerable page of their history and by discovering how this past has been common to them. Because the Napoleonic period allowed Europe to become aware of itself - by its adhesion as by its opposition to the action of the small Corsican - and the adoption of public institutions inspired by the philosophy of the Enlightenment. Our countries, our Europe, need to increase awareness of their roots in order to increase their confidence in their capacity to meet the great challenges of their time. Our desire to better understand and better showcase our cultural heritage is therefore closely linked to our desire to move forward in terms of social and economic progress. The question of identity is at the heart of all the crises of our time. The changes in behavior necessary to meet the challenges of mastering the environment, the development of science and technology, the underdevelopment ... can only have peace as a breeding ground and therefore reconciliation with it’s past. Because, as the saying goes, there can be no future for those who do not accept their history. This is why we have undertaken to unite around this page of a great history which once divided us.
President of the Federation
Founded in 2004 by Charles Bonaparte, the European Federation of Napoleonic Cities (FECN) brings together more than 50 European cities whose history has been marked by Napoleonic influence.
The FECN, association under French law (law 1901), is the result of the desire of the municipalities to replace their Napoleonic historical heritage into its European dimension. The cross-reading of particularly important and contrasting pages in the history of European countries is intended to be a major contribution to the common culture of peoples and to the definition of our shared heritage.
In 2015, the European dimension of its work was recognised through the certification as "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" of Destination Napoleon, an itinerary enhancing and creating a network of Napoleonic heritage, a shared European one.
The FECN develops its activities around three main orientations:
- favoriser les échanges sur l'histoire napoléonienne avec l'organisation de rencontres, de colloques, de publications en relation avec les universités, les institutions culturelles et les associations d'histoire ;
- promouvoir et soutenir les actions de conservation et de restauration du patrimoine de l'époque napoléonienne (objets, œuvres d'art, mobilier, monuments, sites ...) ;
- developing activities to promote and enhance the value of heritage through exhibitions, artistic events, discovery itineraries, in particular in the context of tourism, school or university exchanges.
The key missions of the FECN are:
- la conservation, le partage, la mise en valeur et la sauvegarde de l'héritage culturel commun d'importance européenne lié au mythe napoléonien et à l'influence de la période napoléonienne sur l'Europe contemporaine ;
- la sensibilisation du public, la mise en valeur de la diversité culturelle ainsi que la promotion de la connaissance mutuelle de l'histoire, des racines et des valeurs culturelles communes aux peuples de l'Europe et de leur héritage culturel commun ;
- the development of research, teaching and the dissemination of knowledge.
To become a member of the FECN, visit this page.