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Project EXPERIENCE restores Napoleonic Arbor tunnel


Arbor web

An ornate iron framework, known as an Arbor, covered in evergreen climbing plants which dates to Napoleonic era has been beautifully restored, thanks to Interreg funding.

The restoration forms part of project EXPERIENCE, a 23-million-euro project which is set to transform the tourist offer across 6 pilot regions in northern France and southern England. The project will target off season tourism by developing experiential activities, helping to drive an increase in visitors and a year-round tourism economy.

The Arbor sits on the grounds of Chateau de Compiègne, a royal residence built for Louis XV and restored by Napoleon. The Arbor was built in 1810 to create a link between the Imperial castle in Compiègne town, in the Oise department in northern France, and the nearby forest for Empress Marie-Louise.

The sheltered walkway stretches 750 metres long forming a connection between the formal gardens of the palace and the wilderness of the forest. The specialist restoration work was carried out by regional blacksmiths.

The Arbor will also be showcased during theatrical visits, due to be held from June 2021; bicentenary of the death of Napoleon 1st where light, images and costumed performers will re-enact the life and times of the famous Emperor Napoleon and Empress Marie-Louise as well as Napoleon 3rd and Empress Eugenie.

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