Arenenberg is a small chateau at the shore of Lake Constance in Thurgau, Switzerland that is famous as the final domicile of Hortense de Beauharnais. Today it houses the Napoleonmuseum.
Arenenberg was built in the early 16th century by the mayor of Constance (1546–48) Sebastian Geissberg. The estate saw a number of owners. In 1817, Johann Baptist von Streng sold it to the exiled Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of ex-Empress Joséphine. As arranged by Napoleon, Hortense had to marry his brother Louis Bonaparte, and the couple were named King and Queen of the Netherlands (1806–10). The royal couple not only suffered with the demise of the rule of Napoleon, but also had an unhappy marriage leading to a separation. Hortense initiated reconstructions and renovations in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of Malmaison. The surrounding park was possibly designed by Louis-Martin Berthault. In 1818 she moved in. Her brother, Eugène de Beauharnais, bought the nearby Schloss Sandegg and built a villa close by.
While Hortense initially spent time at her house in Augsburg, Arenenberg soon became her main domicile. At her Parisian-styled salon she entertained many luminaries. Her son Louis Napoléon, the future emperor Napoléon III, who had attended school in Augsburg, visited Arenenberg as a teenager; there he was further educated and then attended the Swiss military academy at Thun, receiving Swiss citizenship. In 1837, while he was exiled and living in New York City, Louis Napoleon received notice of his mother's deteriorating health and returned to Arenenberg. Hortense died on 5 October 1837. After mourning, Louis Napoleon had to leave Switzerland, due to French pressure, and moved to London. In 1843, in need of money to finance his aspirations, he sold the property to Heinrich Keller. Once he was emperor, his empress Eugénie bought it back in 1855. Further renovations were made between 1855 and 1874.
After Napoleon III's death, Eugénie visited Arenenberg several times before she donated it in 1906 to the Canton Thurgau. Today the château is home to the Napoleon Museum. The Napoleon Park is being restored.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.