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Napoleon's café serves many functions: estaminet, grocery store, shoe repair shop, cinemas, library, museums. It's a spatial and temporal labyrinth linking disjointed historical episodes, past and present, history and fiction, utopia and dystopia.

Here's how to find your way around.

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THE ESTAMINET-GROCERY STORE, where Napoléon Gaillard welcomes visitors.

- Behind the bar, the door to the barricades room.


- The doorway to place Vendôme, de-imperialized after William Morris.


- On the wall, Gauthier's drawings leads to Mazas prison.


- On the tables of the café, discussions between the actors and actresses of the Commune.


- Under the platform, the débeurdinoir.


- Under the staircase is the Kinetoscope, showing documentaries on the Commune. A trapdoor leads to the underground passageways, Blanqui's 7 jails at the Château du Taureau..


- The café's front door will lead, depending on whether you pass it once or twice, to a dystopian version of the café (of the Commune - we are the society the Commune didn't dream up), or to its garden (Kropotkin).


Napoléon Gaillard SHOEMAKING WORSHOP, his treatise on gutta-percha shoes.


- The shoes on display will enable you to transplane to other areas of the site.


- The door to the cinema, with a program of fiction films.

- The door leading to the deep-sea barge carrying the café.

STAIRCASE to the second floor.

Obstruction : as you enter the café, the walls begin to crack. Visitors will be given clues to stop the process

Obstruction : the room is invaded by an ominous black cloud. Find a way to contain it.

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Obstruction : invisible pitfalls send visitors back to the bottom of the stairs. Find out how to remove them.

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THE LIBRARY where photographic and textual archive documents will be stored (in progress).

Here you can access the Commune's projects : Main measures / Decrees, orders, proclamations / Official Journal / Unofficial part of the Official Journal / Unrealized projects / Extrapolated projects / Theoretical and historical context of the project.

THE MUSEUM OF INVENTIONS showcases the inventions made by communard.e.s and participants in the Paris Commune.


STAIRCASE to the third floor. 

Obstruction : as you enter the library, rain begins to fall from the velum to the ceiling. Find the clues to stop it. 

Obstruction : on the staircase, invisible pitfalls send visitors soaring.

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CARICATURE WINDOWS, taken from the satirical press of the time, leading to proposals linked to "extrapolated projects".


THE THREE DOORS that lead : 

- to the "gai rossignol" and danse macabre room, dedicated to the badly buried dead of the Commune.


- to the Thiers wheel.


- to the photography museum : Disdéri/Braquehais room,  Appert room,  Paris brûlé game (Eulalie Papavoine, accused of being a petroleuse and Thomas Cook, tour operator in Paris brûlé), pétroleuses room, Paris in ruins photo room (with booklets).

VERSAILLES MAGICIAN'S ROOM  is inspired by The Wizard of Oz.

THE STAIRCASE TO THE HUNE, Napoleon Gaillard's room of metamorphoses..

Obstruction : an army of spectres invades the space and a thick fog rises from the ground. Find out how to disconnect them to continue the tour.

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Obstruction : on the staircase, invisible threads swaddle visitors like a spider's web. Find a way to get rid of them and move on.

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On the third floor, at great height, Napoleon has a room for transformation : the room of communal luxury, of unrealized projects, of uchronies, of real utopias, the enemy's bestiary-chamber.


This room also leads to the final battle of Astra and Monstras (after Aby Warburg), during which the constellations of the Paris Commune were born.

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BLANQUI'S SEVEN JAILS. The Kinetoscope trapdoor (in the café, under the stairs) leads to Blanqui's 7 jails, linked to Baudelaire's poem "Les sept vieillards", which Walter Benjamin associated with the text written by Blanqui during his imprisonment, "L'éternité par les astres".

The lower platform will allow visitors and Blanqui to escape, giving access to a raft which, guided by the stars, will take them to the island of March 18, 1871, the first day of the Paris Commune (Blanqui was arrested by Thiers on March 17).

Obstruction : a strong updraft blows the visitor up towards the trapdoor, preventing him from accessing the lower floors. A clue will enable him to stop the wind.

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