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Nicolas Girod House in New Orleans

The house of Nicolas Girod, he is the house of Napoleon - a three-story brick stucco building with a hipped roof and a dome.

The house was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1970, as one of the finest examples of French architecture. The history of the owner is an integral part of the building itself.

House of Napoleon or Nicolas Girod in New Orleans - photo of the building - American ButlerNicholas Girod's story

Nicolas Girod was born in France in 1747. In the 1770s he and his brothers claude francois and jean francois migrated to North America. They settled in New Orleans, which was then under Spanish rule and had a significant French population.

The brothers' trade flourished - they kept a wholesale and retail store near the dam and gained popularity. Nicolas was a popular man - in 1812 he was elected mayor of New Orleans, which by then was part of the United States. The inauguration ceremony was held in French, because Giro did not speak English.

When he was offered to improve his knowledge of the language, he replied that it would be better for the citizens to learn French.

And these were fair demands. Giro did not suffer from this nonsense - during his reign, the roads were gravelled and a drainage channel was dug. During the battle for New Orleans Giraud helped General Andrew Jackson gather militia from local residents. He also provided supplies for the military and protected the city from guerrilla actions. It is said that he was more motivated by the hatred of the British than the love of Americans.

Girod never had a wife and children. When his neighbor died, Giraud became the guardian of three children. One of whom later sued for unlawful disposal of his father’s property.

Nicolas died in his house at the age of 93, but he is still remembered for one curious adventure ...

Nicolas Girod House, New Orleans - Photo of a restaurant inside the building - American Butler

The Legend of Napoleon's House

Girault resigned in 1815. His brother Claude died a year earlier, leaving Nicolas a two-story house as a legacy. Giro rebuilt the house, adding another floor to it. The ground floor occupied the store, he himself lived above Girod.

Later, Nicholas began to position the house as the residence of Napoleon. He organized a group of pirates to save the former emperor from exile on St. Helena. The idea was simple - to sail quickly to St. Helena (just!), Kill the British guards, find the emperor, take him to a fast yacht and sail to America. It is not known whether Napoleon knew about this scheme, and if so, what he thought about it.

As the work on equipping the yacht continued, Nicolas furnished his house in all its glory necessary for the abode of the autocrat in a democratic country. That's just the plan failed - Napoleon died three days before the crew sailed, spoiling all plans for adventurers. But the house remained.

The story first appeared in print at the end of the 19th century, widely reported in the press. at the beginning of the 20th century and remains popular today. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of it - the stories of eyewitnesses differ in details.

Napoleon House in New Orleans - photo of bar - American Butler

Heritage

The Girod family lived in the house of Napoleon until the end of the XIX century. In the early 1900s, the building belonged to different parties.

Restaurant Photo at Napoleon House in New Orleans, LA, USA - American ButlerIn 1914 the house was bought by Joseph Impastato, who ran a grocery store downstairs and lived upstairs with his family. In 1920, the building became a bar, and in the 1970s -   the restaurant.

Napoleon's house remained in the hands of the Impastato family for 101 years. In April 2015, he was sold to the restaurateur Ralph Brennan.

If you are a fan of Napoleon, the new restaurant is worth a visit. You can enjoy delicious food and drinks surrounded by paintings of Napoleon. Deep patinated walls, uneven floors, glowing photos and a sea of quotes from famous guests are reminded of the history of the house.

The restaurant serves the main traditional dishes of New Orleans, including gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, as well as hot dogs. But he is also famous for the Mafoulette sesame sandwich and the Pimm's Cup.

Napoleon’s house is not the only reminder of the emperor in New Orleans. Dr. Francois Antonmarchi, who was Napoleon’s doctor in exile, gave the city a copy of the death mask, which was exhibited at the State Museum of Louisiana. And one of the main thoroughfares of the city is named after Napoleon, on the sides of it are the streets with the names of its battles. So the memory of the emperor, who once sold the United States Louisiana, will not soon leave this region.

Additional Information
Address 500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone +1-504-524-9752
Operation mode
  • Sun - Thu: 11:00 - 22:00
  • Fri - Sat: 11:00 - 23:00
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