Given the centrality of Napoléon to the French narrative it came as surprise to me to discover that he only held the reigns of power for 15 years. The stuture of this man – ironic considering his height – dominates the romaticised French history. Moreover, given his ambitious military conquests around Europe, his story is not exclusive to French history books. From 1793 till 1815 he stretched his arm across Europe. Arguably he remains Europe’s most recognisable emporer – and dare I say its most venerated.

This fabulous exposition at the Musée de l’armée (The Army Museum) traces his amazing feats and acomplishments, as well as his exile and eventual downfall. More than that, it illuminates the often silent historical details of those communities, kingdoms and nations that resited valiently as well as those who acceeded to his domiance. Who faught? Who gave in?

The expositions boasts over 250 splendid and remarkable works of art, objects, and documents which bare witness to this extrodinary man and his inpact on European history – and arguably beyond. Walking its halls one begins to grasp the man and the history behind the screen of romanticism and the nostalgia, and really understand the lasting imprint that Napoléon has left on l’Europe.

Naniso Tswai
I have travelled afar and aplenty but never before have I met a city such as Paris. In fact, “that Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me” (Woody Allen: Midnight in Paris). This powerful quote both explains and encapsulates my relationship with Paris. Young, energetic and full of life, almost instantly her cuteness consumes you, coursing through your veins until all you desire is to never leave her embrace. But it is not all catwalk perfections, as despite her elegant demeanour, living here is an altogether different and gritty affair. For the tourist Paris dons her most beautiful frock and flirts an irresistible charm, but were you intent on becoming a permanent fixture, prepare yourself for her invariably coarse moods. She is obstinately and often infuriatingly French. She wears her French mantra, indeed breaths it as if though to do anything else would be an affront to her flag. Even when I ventured into her sprawling contours expecting her personality to become diluted, however I was both relieved and perplexed by the resoluteness of character. She is France at its most unyielding, arrogant and concentrated self, but damn, do I love to love her. I invite you to follow my own discoveries of Paris’s hidden corners and whispered beauties.