woensdag 2 november 2011


My visit to Vilnius (Luthania) was succesfull.
We made a nice trip, my sun and me.
Look at my latetst website  www.roelkvos.nl/vilnius
You see the objects I 'scored'.
They are all from the French book  Le Guide Napoleon (2005).
I consider this book as a travelling companion.

zondag 25 september 2011


In week 42 (Monday 17th till Fryday 21th of october I will travel with my youngest sun (he is 31) to Vilnius (Litouwen). I am invited by a Dutchman, who is living there. He knows a lot about Napoleon in Vilnius. He has like me made a trip to the Beresina and Borodino. I give him some advices.
In Vilnius you can see a lot of 'objects' about Napoleon. He was there during the start of the Campaingn of Russia in 1812. So I hope to see and to be for a while on the top of the hill besouth of Kaunas where our great man crossed the river Njemen. Along my guide it must still be there!
The first 'object' is the hotel in Vilnius where we stay. It is a cloister, where wounded were traeted.
We hope to see this all!

zondag 3 juli 2011

Czar Peter The Great of Russia

During the investigations on my motortrips on the trail of Napoleon Bonaparte I met in Zaandam (north of Amsterdam) with the little house of Peter the Great (1672 - 1725). He was the first Russian Czar who was interested in all the things abroad. So he went to Holland to learn the skills of a carpenter in shipbuilding.
He was incognito and he stayed in 1697 for 8 days in this little wooden house, existing of two rooms, two windows, a stove place and a little wooden comparment for sleeping.
After that days he was unhappily recognized. He felt sorry about that!

The litlle house is now (2011) covered with a stone house for protection.
Of course a lot of celebrated visitors were here. Between 1806 and 1810 King Louis Napoleon, the first King of Holland, entered this house. His brother Napoleon I did also on the 13th of October 1811.
After him all the Dutch kings and queens wrote their names in the book of visitors!

GPS in Google Earth: N 52 26.244  E 4 49.413

zondag 5 juni 2011


In July, September and November 2011 there will be the next numbers of the new Dutch magazine about Napoleon. (Napoleon in Nederland 1811 - 2011).
In sept/okt. 2011 it is 200 years ago that he visited Holland, then a part of his empire. He was the ruler those days and he wanted to inspect Holland as a country ready to defend against England.

Divers cities in The Netherlands have exhibitions about this trip. This all is mentioned in that new Dutch magazine. You can also see the routes he took. Napoleon had made a trip of about 775 km by coach.
He also travelled over water. He did so in about five weeks.
A wellknown motorcycler in Holland has comes with the idee to make motorcycleroute of this.
He visited me, got aware that I am a rider too and we accorded that I shall make the routes and program them in the Garmin GPS. I produce also the special subscriptions and anecdotes that are known.

So I have work to do! But this is nice work! First we travel all the routes by camper (I have already made them in the computer with Mapsource). Then we cycle by bike (not: motorbike!) in the cities and take original pictutes for publishing. Later I shall ride them accurate for controll on my motorbike. I have a BMW 1100 RT.

maandag 9 mei 2011


In my research about the Campaing in Russia I discovered following:

During the period 15 Aug – 14 Nov. 1812 Napoleon rode 14 different horses.
Here are their names:

Courtois Le Cid
Coquet Kurde
Vineux Linotte

Source: Louis Garrot: Quel roman que ma vie! (1947 French)

zondag 8 mei 2011

In English now!

I myself have translated my website 'Napoleon in Russia' in English.
I know, I am a Dutchman, so it will be full of mistakes.
But I hope you understand what I want to tell you!

The address is:


Roel Vos before the little museum in Malojaroslavetz

maandag 25 april 2011

Latest, but certainly not the last journey

I am back home again!
During ten days I made a trip between Smolensk and Moscou.
Most impressed me the Battlefield of Borodino.
A lot of memoriables.
But also the musea in Moscow and all the details were interesting
I was supprised by the lot of things someone can see about Napoleon.
He was at last the enemy!

See my website.
I will soon make an English written version of it!


We organize in May 2012 a trip like this for everyone who is interested in it!
Look on the website!
I you live in England you can join us on Schiphol, the Netherlands.

vrijdag 18 februari 2011

On the road again!

On the 3th of april 2011 I will departure for Moscou with my Russian speaking friend.
Arriving there we will hire a car and with good speed we will drive to Smolensk (about 400 km).
Then I will take Le Guide Napoléon as a traval companian. From then we shall return to Moscou by car in slow speed.

During about ten days I will try to discover the road, places, buildings, monuments, statues eso. that are described in Le Guide. The preparations showed me about 130 items I can meet. I will be satisfied when about a 100 items will be visited (and photografed and tagged with gps!).
Highlights will be: Smolensk, Valoetina-Gora, DoroghobouĂŻ, Viazma, Ghjat,  Borodino, Mojaisk, Moscou isteslf. Then to the south to Malo-Jaroslavitz.

A study of 12 books about Napoleon going to Moscou (and return!) forms the fundament of this voyage.
I am ready now with my studying.

When we are returned I will give here a summary of this trip (just a voyage? nostagic travel? discovery trip? I don't know how to name it, but I'm sure I like it!)


zaterdag 12 februari 2011

New Dutch Magazine about Napoleon

A brand new Napoleon magazine is presented in the Dutch language in the Netherlands!
It is the first of a series of six. Two hunderd years ago (24th sept. till 31th oct. 1811) Napoleon visited with his wife Marie-Louise the Netherlands, then called Holland. His brother Louis-Napoleon had been king there from 1806 till 1810. Then Napoleon himself toke over. This journey was ment to survey Holland and especially the defindingworks against the English. When he left Holland Napoleon was rather satisfied on what he had seen and heard!
This new magazine will appear every two month starting febr./mrt. 2011.
Beautiful drawings, paintings and stories in detail about this visit.
I think it are the details that makes history so interresting.
But not everyone thinks this way!
Below you see some pictures of this magazine!

Look also on my website www.roelkvos.nl/napinned1811 to see more!



                                                           coming 5 editions  
A map of Amsterdam with the entree of Napoleon on the 9th oct. 1811

zaterdag 22 januari 2011

The Pyramid of Austerlitz

On 19 jan. 2011 I visited with my friend Joop van Keulen the Pyramide van Austerlitz near Utrecht, in the middle of the Netherlands. Here are some details!
(52.5'17.7" N;   5.20'24.6" E)

1. The monument of Marmont.
     The Pyramide van Austerlitz has been erected on the 12th of october 1804 by the 30-years old French general Auguste F.L.V. de Marmont as a memorial of the camping of his 18.000 amy men on the moor of Zeist. Officialy he dedicated this monument to Napoleon who was crowned emperor that year.
      Marmont choose for a simple memorial that he could quickly and cheap build and that would last for ages: a piramid of earth and turf with a wooden obelisk and a senic view. It was indeed a beautiful view over the moor and the Zuidezee (now called: IJsselmeer). From this lake an English invasian could be expected.
      In 1806 king Louis Napoleon gave this monument the name of 'Pyramide van Austerlitz' in honour of the Battle of Austerlitz in Techia, won by his brother. Since the village nearby the army camp is also called Austerlitz.
     When Marmont left in 1805 the piramide was later fallen into disrepair. In 1894 the major J.P.de Beaufort placed a new stone obelisk.

2. Inspiration.
     Marmont's inspiration for this monument was the Piramid of Gizeh he had seen during the Campaign of Egypt with Napoleon in 1798. Even the steps were copied.
     After the Egyptian Campaign all kinds of Egyptian motives became popular in Europe. This Egyptian mania was seen in gravestones in the form of piramids. But the greatest piramid of Europe you can see here!
3. Position.
First this piramid was called 'the hill of Marmont'. For this French general this memorial was the centre of Holland. It is 49,5 m above seelevel. By beuatiful weather you were able to see the Zuiderzee, Amsterdam, Breda, Zwolle and the towers of Utrecht and Amersfoort. Nowadays this is over, there are woods all around.

4. Construction and guardning.
On the 10th of september 1084 Marmont and his soldiers started to build. A leaden box containing a parchment with all the names of the soldiers was put in. This box was digged out in 1893.
After 27 days about 30.000 cubic meters of earth were moved for the 36m high piramid, who has 40 steps on a 2m high basement. Then the 13m high wooden obelisk was placed. A circle of 90m was digged around the piramid.
On the 12th of october was the festive opening and on the 21th of october there was a great dinner.
Only in march 1805 the four great memory stones dedicated to Napoleon and his great victories were attached on the piramid.
For guardning and repair Marmont appoitnted three married soldiers for whom he let build little houses round the piramid. He expected this place to become a village, called 'Marmontville', but this didn't happen.
The houses were demolished in 1836.

maandag 10 januari 2011

Napoleon in Rotterdam!

On sunday 9 jan. 2011 I was in the Walhala-theater in Rotterdam.
There was the presented in a monoloqueform Napoleon, the Hanged. (Napoleon, de Gehangene.)
It was the actor Coen van Vlijmen (he has the look of Napoleon too!), presenting an overview of the life of our hero on St.Helena. He has, like me, also been there himself in 2008.

It was nice done, about a hunderd spectators and during three days.
I took no pictures during the session, but I did before.
We had a nice afternoon!