From Paris Dans Sa Splendeur: Monuments, Vues, Scènes Historique, Nantes, lith. Charpentier, Edit. - Paris, quai des Augustins, 55
Napoleon had asked in his will to be buried on the banks of the Seine, but upon his death in 1821 was buried on Saint Helena, in the "valley of the willows". He was buried in an unmarked tomb, because Sir Hudson Lowe refused to allow the simple inscription Napoleon to be placed on it, insisting that the word Bonaparte must also be there.
On 27 July 1840, the French vessel Belle Poule set sail with special equipment for Saint Helena to bring back the remains of Napoleon. She had been painted black for the occasion. On September 30, she arrived back in Cherbourg, where, on 8 December, the Emperor's remains were transferred to the steamship Normandie. The Normandie transported the remains to Le Havre and up the Seine to Rouen, for further transport to Paris.
Napoleon's remains were to be entombed in a porphyry sarcophagus at Les Invalides, Paris. Egyptian porphyry (used for the tombs of Roman emperors) was unavailable, so red quartzite was obtained from Russian Finland, eliciting protests from those who still remembered the Russians as enemies. Hundreds of millions have visited his tomb since that date. A replica of his simple Saint Helena tomb is also to be found at Les Invalides.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia articles Napoleon I and French ship Belle Poule.