French plan ‘Napoleonland’ theme park which will stage daily re-enactments of Battles of Waterloo and Trafalgar
- £180million park to be built on site of famous battle and create 3,000 jobs
- Park is being billed as a rival to Disneyland and could open in 2017
- Napoleon has no national museum despite being the second most famous Frenchman after Charles De Gaulle
By ROB COOPER
Last updated at 9:39 AM on 20th January 2012
After almost 200 years, the last thing you would think the French want is a daily reminder of the devastating military defeats at Waterloo and Trafalgar.
But now a theme park is being planned in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte – and will stage daily re-enactments of the victories for Wellington and Nelson.
Dubbed ‘Napoleonland’, the attraction is likely to be built on the site of one of the military leader’s most famous victories.
If funding is secured for the £180million park it is expected to create 3,000 jobs and could ultimately emerge as a rival to Disneyland.
There are plans to build it at the site where Napoleon defeated the Austrians in the Battle of Montereau in 1814 in Montereau-Fault-Yonne just south of Paris.
The six-day battle was the nation’s last military victory over the Austrians.
The Battle of Waterloo, which put an end to Napoleon’s rule in France, is expected to be recreated on a daily basis and visitors may even be able to take part in the reenactments.
They will also be able to take in a water show recreating the Battle of Trafalgar.
A museum, a hotel, shops, restaurants and a congress are all expected to be built at the park.
Planners are also hoping to recreate the killing of Louis XVI, France’s last King, who died after being guillotined during the Revolution.
And in another attraction visitors may be able to ski around the bodies of soldiers and horses frozen on the battlefield.
Napoleon is the second most famous French and much-celebrated leader after Charles De Gaulle – so it remains to be seen how much room his countrymen give over to Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
French politician Yves Jego, who is backing the project, hopes that construction work can get underway in 2014 and the park open its doors in 2017.