In the footsteps of famous Bonaparte

‘In France all people have heard of Berezina, but nobody imagines where it is situated’. This phrase of Charles Napoleon, direct descendant of the great French emperor, have been heard many times at the Belarusian and French meeting in Borisov on the Roads of Napoleon project
By Olga Pasiyak

‘In France all people have heard of Berezina, but nobody imagines where it is situated’. This phrase of Charles Napoleon, direct descendant of the great French emperor, have been heard many times at the Belarusian and French meeting in Borisov on the Roads of Napoleon project. Amid a swarm of photographers, a Memorandum of Joining of Borisov to the European Federation of Napoleonic Cities was signed, where our country became the 9th member state.


This is a project of global scale. For 10 years more than 60 cities of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Spain have joined the Federation. Pavel Latushko, Ambassador of Belarus to France, noted that the participation of Borisov expands the partnership between our country and France and consolidates contact between non-governmental organisations and local authorities. It also offers one more opportunity to talk about Belarus to a wider world, about our common, though problematic and tragic, history, and, certainly, to attract more tourists. This aspect was noted also by Dominique Gazuy, Ambassador of France to Belarus, “According to queries on the Internet, today, Napoleon is the second most popular person after Christ, and if you get information about Borisov when searching online for ‘Napoleon’, then tourist interest in the town will grow significantly.” To aid this, they plan one more Belarusian and French project — a thematic exhibition in the National History Museum. The main guest at the Borisov meeting, Charles Napoleon, was generous with his emotions.

“When in France we speak about Berezina, we are talking about a catastrophe. I have been to Borisov before and I always wonder that such a cruel battle had happened on such a quiet river. It is important for tourists to understand what happened here and to feel the atmosphere of the historical event.”


Reconstruction of events of 1812 at Berezina

Borisov has a good chance to become an attractive cultural location. In the near future, representatives of the journal of the European Federation of Napoleonic Cities will come here to take photos of local interest points for the December issue where 80-100 pages are planned to be dedicated to the Belarusian town. The issue will be presented in Paris by Vladimir Miranovich, Borisov’s Executive Committee Chairman, and even before this, information about the suburbs of Berezina will appear on Internet-resources of the Federation.
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