France plans theme park to honour Napoleon Bonaparte
London: A French theme park is being planned in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte, almost 200 years after his death, the daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
‘Napoleonland’, the brainchild of former French minister and history buff Yves Jego, is being touted as a rival to Disneyland.
The plan is to build the unlikely amusement park on the site of the brilliant but doomed French leader`s final victory against the Austrians in the Battle of Montereau in 1814 just south of Paris.
The 1815 Battle of Waterloo, in which the Duke of Wellington ended Napoleon`s rule in France, could be recreated on a daily basis with visitors perhaps even able to take part in the re-enactments, the newspaper said.
They will also be able to take in a water show re-creating the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, in which Lord Nelson scored a decisive victory over a French and Spanish coalition aboard HMS Victory but died in the process.
But the park will also give pride of place to Napoleon`s greatest victories, in particular the Battle of Austerlitz in which the Russo-Austrian army was decisively defeated.
"We are not going to take sides," Jego said in a reference to widely differing accounts of Napoleon`s legacy in Britain and France ranging from brutal dictator to heroic visionary.
The park is also expected to house a museum, a hotel, shops, restaurants and a congress centre.
Other curious potential attractions include a ski run through a battlefield "surrounded by the frozen bodies of soldiers and horses" and a recreation of Louis XVI being guillotined during the revolution - the precursor to Napoleon`s rise to power.