Walk in Bonaparte's footsteps with 23 nails in the ground!
When Napoleone di Buonaparte took up his position as second lieutenant
second in command in November 1785, Valence, with a population of almost nine thousand, including the Bourg, was second only to Grenoble in the Dauphiné. Its famous university, which had never recovered from the Wars of Religion, was moribund.
Episcopal power remains intact, and the Church is omnipresent through its many
establishments that have taken up most of the urban space over the past century, while the city is literally suffocated by its ramparts
would only be demolished on the eve of the Second Empire. A few years before
the arrival of Bonaparte, Valence remained a city of clerics and robins. The Présidial, with its many offices, attracted the sons of the bourgeoisie eager to rise in the social hierarchy. Shopkeepers, craftsmen and "ploughmen" formed a sleepy, staid society.
Valence's geographical location has always made it a traditional
as a military stronghold. But the inhabitants complained tirelessly about the need to house soldiers. The construction of barracks in the 1730s gave the town a new vocation, reinforced by the transfer of the artillery school from Besançon. Valence is now a "place of war".
The arrival of two new battalions from La Fère's famous artillery regiment suddenly increased the population by a thousand young men and noble officers. The resulting melting pot led to the foundation of several learned societies where science, philosophy and patriotism were debated.
Within a decade, Valence had become a bubbling intellectual hotbed. This new aspect of Valence was undoubtedly no stranger to shaping the thinking of the seventeen-year-old Corsican officer.
From 01/01 to 31/12.
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