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The origin of the Association

F Beaucour dans son bureau 25janv1989 _

Fernand Beaucour,

Doctorate in Law and History,

Engineer from Ecole Centrale Paris (46), in his office.


The preservation of the Château de Pont de Briques is the founding act of the association. Let us recall here the historical context and the first moments which made it possible to  save this castle promised to destruction for the construction of a fast lane serving Boulogne.


In 1803, Napoleon deciding to put an end to England, and, taking up the idea of a military expedition, went to Boulogne-sur-Mer where he chose the castle of Pont-de-Briques, located at the entrance to this city, as headquarters.

In 1961, Fernand Beaucour, with Pierre Schommer, curator of the Malmaison museum,  P. A Wimet, G.  Guérin du Masgenêt and a group of Boulonnais are concerned about the future of this castle threatened with demolition by the creation of a

Industrial Zone .  On May 27, 1962, a marble plaque was sealed on one of the pillars of the entrance to the main courtyard of the castle: "Here resided Napoleon during the Camp de Boulogne, 1803-1805."

Fernand Beaucour and his group attract  the attention of the prefect, who alerts the curator of the Buildings of France, the architect of historic monuments,

etc. Time is passing. On March 14, 1966, it was decided to make an intervention with the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, General Catroux who, on May 6, 1966, attracted the attention of Minister André Malraux and the regional prefect Jean Tomasi to that the project of a new ring road with the destruction of the castle be abandoned.

The Prefect summons the Departmental Site Commission to reconsider this Boulogne road service project. The meeting took place in Arras on May 13, 1966. " I was summoned and I went there; I found myself alone, to defend the cause of the castle; a favorable vote was obtained and it was decided to reconsider the decision. question "write Fernand Beaucour (1).

On the advice of the regional conservator of buildings of France Pierre Latte, the Society for the Safeguarding of the Imperial Castle of Pont-de-Briques , a 1901 law association, was created on June 9, 1966, following a meeting on the 1st floor of the café. "to the philosopher" at 4 rue Porte Neuve in Boulogne, bringing together F Beaucour some thirty friends and historians of Boulonnais. Among them,  the chief architect of historical monuments Ch. Waldschmidt, Pierre André Wimet, Historian and specialist in the remains of Brick Bridge, Albert Mac Kenna, who proposed this name of Society for the Preservation of the Imperial Castle of Pont de Briques , which avoided any confusion with the  "Palais Imperial" of the Hôtel Désandrouin, and Pierre Stenne, sculptor of the new statue of Napoleon  on the Boulogne column. At this meeting the statutes are adopted; the administrators are elected, who elect themselves the office.  Fernand Beaucour, who was at the head of all the procedures, is elected president of the company.


The statutes will be deposited in Boulogne on June 17, 1966. Many personalities support the action of the association, and participate in the honorary committee: General Catroux, General Koenig, Mr. A. Masséna, Prince d'Essling, SA Prince Louis Murat, Count Roger Waleski, Professor Pierre Montet, of the Institute and many others.


  After several years of efforts, the decree of the Minister of Equipment of February 24, 1969 modifies the initial road plan, defines the bypass  current which will tour the Château de Pont de Briques, and thus acts as its Safeguard.

A few years later, the final preservation of the castle was acquired, by its classification as a historical monument by the ministerial decree of October 1, 1974.

Supporting the preservation of the castle, the Company contributes to historical knowledge of the Camp de Boulogne period. F Beaucour publishes Letters, Decisions and Acts  de Napoléon à Pont-de-Briques reference work in three volumes bringing together all the decisions taken by Napoleon at Pont-de-Briques, in which we can follow from day to day the creation of the Grande Armée prepared for the invasion of England (an objective which he had to abandon after the loss of the Franco-Spanish navy in Trafalgar), and all the decisions taken by the Emperor to administer the country. Many articles in our review "Etudes Napoléoniennes", notably in the first issues, detail the history of the castle, life in the Boulogne camp and the circumstances of this capital period of the First Empire.  


(1) F Beaucour, JB Beaucour. Letters Decisions and Acts of Napoleon at Pont de Briques - Volume 3, page 1.

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