Following the ceremony, the body was rested
in five successive coffins which were
made of tin, mahogany, lead, lead again, and ebony in sequence
starting from the innermost coffin. All of these were encased inside
a monumental sarcophagus which was made of red quartzite and which
was rested on top of a green granite base.
Napoleon's military campaigns were displayed in a
circular design on the floor which surrounded the coffin. Sculpted by
James (Jean-Jacques) Pradier (1790-1852), eight of his most famous
or glorious victories were inscribed on the polychrome marble floor,
including Wagram, Moscow, Rivoli, and the Pyramids.
Napoleon was not only
famous for his military victories, however. His civil achievements
were also represented on ten raised designs which were sculpted onto
the walls of the crypt which was designed by Pierre Charles Simart (1806-1857).
The list reads: Pacification of the Nation, administrative
centralisation, Council of State, Civil Code, Concordat, Imperial
University, the Revenue Court, commercial law, major projects, and
the Legion of Honour.
The lowered circular area which ran around the
base of the tomb led off on one side to the 'cella'. There,
beneath a statue of Napoleon in his coronation robes, his son,
Napoleon II, king of Rome (1811-1832) was laid. Nicknamed 'the Eaglet', he died
in captivity in Habsburg Vienna at the age of twenty-one.
Napoleon's brothers, Joseph and Jérôme were
also buried inside the Eglise du Dôme, along with the faithful
Generals Duroc and Bertrand, the latter of whom twice followed
Napoleon into exile.
Napoleon's red quartzite monumental sarcophagus on a green
granite base, encircled by some of his military campaigns