The Compiegne Palace in Oise department, northern France

The Compiegne Palace, a Hospital and supreme headquarters during WW1

From the autumn of 1914 to the spring of 1917, the Compiègne Palace was transformed into a 340-bed hospital.

Located behind the front line, it welcomed wounded soldiers in the sumptuous setting of the imperial residence. Its role as a hospital, direly needed given the great number of casualties, also contributed to its relative preservation, as the palace would suffer little damage during the war. In the spring of 1917, the last of the wounded left the imperial palace, which subsequently housed the Supreme Headquarters of the French army up until June 1918.

The Compiegne Palace in history

Transformed and enlarged under Louis XV, then renovated by Napoleon I following the French Revolution, the Imperial Palace of Compiègne in Oise (External link) enjoyed its greatest glory under Napoleon III. During its celebrated "Séries", the château hosted Europe’s most famous figures. Discover the private lives of these past sovereigns by touring the château's imperial apartments, a splendid ensemble of perfectly restored First and Second Empire decors.

The historic apartments comprise the apartment of the Emperor, the Empress, the King of Rome and finally the prince’s ‘double’ apartment, built during the First Empire to welcome a royal couple.

The apartments of the Emperor and the Empress bear testament to the occupation of this castle which became an imperial palace from the end of the 18th century up until the fall of the Second Empire. Its principal rooms include the Salle des Gardes (Guardroom) from the 18th century, the Chambers of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Empress Marie-Louise from the First Empire, and the Salon de Thé (Tea Room) of the empress Eugenie from the Second Empire.

Each of these rooms has been refurnished in line with the conditions for reconstruction outlined in historical records compiled in Compiègne (External link) after the Second World War.

Palais de Compiègne - Place du Général de Gaulle à Compiègne: (External link)

Oise Department in Northern France (External link)

Compiègne Palace