arschal André Masséna

born on May 6, 1758 in Nizza, France
died on April 4, 1817 in Paris, France

André Masséna was a French general, army commander and marshal.

Reference to the Goldener Adler

On January 21, 1807, he arrived at the Goldener Adler together with his wife and several officers. He came from Calabria to Innsbruck and after a few hours he traveled on again.


xcursion tip

Masséna came from a peasant family. Our today’s excursion tip leads you to Kramsach, about 40 minutes away from Innsbruck. Here you will find the Open Air Museum of Tyrolean Farms.

You can expect to see 37 reconstructed original buildings – farms and outbuildings from various valleys.

On Sundays, craftsmen provide insights into the old manufacturing traditions. In the courtyards musicians play folk music from the alpine region and the hands-on stations for children and young people offer a great variety of activities. Information: https://www.museum-tb.at/

Masséna is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Who has already visited this cemetery knows that there are very interesting graves with different styles there and many famous personalities are buried there.

Very close to Museum Tiroler Farms is the “Funny Cemetery”in Kramsach.

Buried here is however nobody. There are more than 100 grave crosses with curious inscriptions that make you smile. They come from the collection of the master stonemason and Sagzahn smith Hans Guggenberger.

The consciousness around the handicraft blacksmith tradition and the sense for homeland solidarity distinguish this unique cemetery, which is considered world-wide as special rarity.

Life and facts

Masséna was the son of an Italian family of small farmers. André had two brothers and three sisters. After the early death of his father in 1764, the children were raised by their uncle. At the age of 14, André quarreled so violently with his uncle that he moved out and worked as a ship’s boy.

After resigning from the navy, Masséna began his military career in 1775, first as a common soldier. After rising to the rank of lieutenant, he ended his military career and in 1789 married Anne Marie Rosalie, with whom he had 4 children.

In 1795 Masséna was back in the French Armée d’Italie as a general participating in several battles with the Austro-Hungarian and Sardinian forces. Because of his courage and skill, Napoleon called him “L’enfant chéri de la victoire” (the favorite child of victory).

After the proclamation of the Roman Republic in 1798, he became commander of the army.

But because of personal enrichment and plundering of his own population, he was forced to resign by his own soldiers, who otherwise threatened to rebel.

After Napoleon seized power in Paris a year later, he appointed Masséna, who immediately supported him, as commander-in-chief of the Italian army and, after winning several battles, as one of his fourteen marshals.

Masséna is still considered one of Napoleon’s most capable army commanders. This memory is overshadowed only by the marshal’s greed for booty, who systematically plundered the territories he occupied in order to enrich himself.

He was one of the greatest plunderers of the Napoleonic Wars.

On April 4, 1817 André Masséna died of tuberculosis in the circle of his family in Paris. He was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery.



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