Duel of Madame de Polignac and Marquise de Nesle

Louis François Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, better known as the Duc de Richelieu, was Louis XIV’s godson. He was also known as a man with loose morals who enjoyed numerous lovers, including the novelist Claudine Guérin de Tencin’s two sisters — Marie Louise Élisabeth d’Orléans, Duchess de Berry, and her younger sister Charlotte Aglaé…

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Napoleon’s Marriage Celebration: Burning of the Ballroom

On 1 July 1810, a fête was held in honor of Napoleon‘s marriage to Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma and daughter of Francis II of Austria. The fête was given by Prince Joseph Schwarzenberg, a subject of Francis II, to honor Marie Louise. It was held at the Austrian Embassy on the Chausée d’Antin and…

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Robert Brothers and the First Balloon Flight of Over 100km

The first flight of more than 100 km (about 63 miles) took place on Sunday, 19 September 1784. It was conducted by two brothers — Anne-Jean Robert and Nicolas-Louis Robert — known collectively as Les Frères Robert (Robert brothers). Their aerostatic experiment, as it was called, launched from the royal gardens of the Tuileries Palace.…

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