Statue of Charlemagne

So who the F are these guys, posing by the square in front of Notre Dame? The piece is called “Charlemagne et ses leudes” (translates to “Charlemagne and his guards / paladins”) conceived in 1853 by brothers Charles and Louis Rochet and unveiled in 1878.

There’s a whole lot of politics and national symbolism here in claiming Charlemagne as a precursor of the Second French Empire and Napoleon III, while ignoring subsequent French kings thus giving the finger to Bourbon royalists. And more controversy in displaying a guy who was sort-of German (though the distinction didn’t really apply in his day) at a time when the French really really hated Germans. And I’m not even touching on the middle finger this gives to Belgium (in whose current territory Charlemagne was born). Lots going on, is what I’m getting at.

   7 May 2022
   1/160s    f/5.6   152mm   ISO 125
Statue of Charlemagne