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The Route Napoléon is the route taken by Napoléon in 1815 on his return from Elba. It is now concurrent with sections of routes N85, D1085, D4085, and D6085.
The route begins at Golfe-Juan, where Napoleon disembarked 1 March 1815, beginning the Hundred Days that ended at Waterloo. The road was inaugurated in 1932 and meanders from the French Riviera north-northwest along the foothills of the Alps. It is marked along the way by statues of the French Imperial Eagle.
From south to north:
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The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in Belgium, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: an army consisting of units from Britain, Ireland, the German Legion, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, referred to by many authors as the Anglo-allied army, and a Prussian army under the command of Field Marshal Blücher. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Hautes-Alpes is a department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France. Located in and named after the French Alps, it had a population of 141,107 in 2016. Its prefecture is Gap; its sole subprefecture is Briançon.
The Hundred Days War, also known as the War of the Seventh Coalition, marked the period between Napoleon's return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815. This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign, the Neapolitan War as well as several other minor campaigns. The phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 July.
Marshal of the Empire Michel Ney, 1st Duke of Elchingen, 1st Prince of the Moskva, popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon. He was known as Le Rougeaud by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves by Napoleon.
Joachim-Napoléon Murat was a Marshal of France and Admiral of France during the reign of Napoleon. He was also the 1st Prince Murat, Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808, and King of Naples from 1808 to 1815. Murat received his titles in part by being Napoleon's brother-in-law through marriage to his younger sister, Caroline Bonaparte, as well as personal merit. He was noted as a daring, brave, and charismatic cavalry officer as well as a flamboyant dresser, for which he was known as "the Dandy King".
Gap is a commune in southeastern France, the capital and largest town of the Hautes-Alpes department. At a height of 750 m above sea level, it is France's highest prefecture.
Emmanuel de Grouchy, 2nd Marquis de Grouchy was a French general and marshal.
David Hendrik, Baron Chassé was a Dutch soldier who fought both for and against Napoleon. He commanded the Third Netherlands Division that intervened at a crucial moment in the Battle of Waterloo. In 1830 he bombarded the city of Antwerp as commander of Antwerp Citadel during the Belgian Revolution.
Mijoux is a commune and village in the Ain department in eastern France.
Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban is a commune in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in southeastern France.
Matheysine is a French Natural region located in the Alps at the south of the Isère département. Its relief is a plateau surroundered by mountains. Matheysine is also called Plateau Matheysin.
Laffrey is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France.
Ouvrage Barbonnet is a work of the Maginot Line's Alpine extension, the Alpine Line, also called the Little Maginot Line. The ouvrage consists of one entry block and one infantry block facing Italy. The ouvrage was built somewhat behind the main line of fortifications on the old Fort Suchet, which was already armed with two obsolete Mougin 155mm gun turrets.
The Rampe de Laffrey is a section of France's Route nationale 85, today called the Route Napoléon, located in the department of Isère between the communes of Laffrey and Vizille, about fifteen kilometers southeast of Grenoble. It is a steep and mostly relatively straight section of road which ends in a sharp turn, and is known for the high number of fatal automobile accidents which have occurred along its route. Four of these, in 1946, 1973, 1975, and 2007, and all affecting buses of pilgrims returning from Notre Dame de la Salette, are counted among the deadliest in French history.
The accident on the Rampe de Laffrey on July 22, 2007, was one of the most serious accidents to occur along a stretch of road widely considered among the most dangerous in France. 26 Polish pilgrims were killed when their bus flew off the road and into a ravine near the town of Vizille. 24 people were injured, 9 gravely, in the crash.
Col Bayard (1,246 m) is a mountain pass through the Dauphiné Alps in the department of Hautes-Alpes in France.
The Grande Tête de l'Obiou is a mountain in the French Prealps belonging to the French department of Isère. It is the highest peak of the Dévoluy Mountains and of the Dauphiné Prealps and the seventh most prominent summit of metropolitan France.
The Col de Manse is a mountain pass located in the Massif des Écrins approximately 9 km (6 mi) north-east of Gap in the Hautes-Alpes department of France. The pass connects Gap with the high Champsaur valley and the ski resort of Orcières-Merlette. The road over the col is used occasionally by the Tour de France cycle race with the tour crossing the pass twice in 2013.
The 2015 Tour de France was the 102nd edition of the race, one of cycling's Grand Tours. The Tour started in Utrecht, Netherlands on 4 July and finished on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on 26 July. On 21 July, between stages 16 and 17 there was a rest day in Gap.