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Splitting the Distance

By: Randall Lesaffer


Image credit: "Meeting of the two emperors at Tilsit on 25 June 1807",  Antoine Charles Horace Vernet and Jacques François Swebach. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


On 7 July 1807, the French Emperor Napoleon (1769–1821) and the Russian Tsar Alexander I (1777–1825) met on a purpose-built raft in the middle of the river Neman (Memel) at Tilsit, present-day Sjovetsk, in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad close to the border of Lithuania. Both emperors were there to directly work out the conditions for the treaty of peace and alliance for which their representatives had laid the groundwork in the days after the belligerents had agreed on an armistice (Armistice of Tilsit, 21 June 1807, 59 CTS 201).

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