France

Equestrian statues can be found all over the country of France. The kings of the House of Bourbon started with the erection of such statues for themselves, with Louis XIV as the most active. Many of these statues were melted down during and shortly after the revolution in 1789, but it was not long before statues for Napoleon, the new hero, were created. Most of them faced the same sad fate as the statues of the royals before him. Fortunately many of the destroyed statues were later restored or recreated. In 1874 the first statue of Jeanne d’Arc was erected in Paris, with the intention of re-establishing French self-confidence following their humiliating defeat by the Prussian army in 1870. Many statues of this heroine would follow. Nowadays, every self-respecting city in France, large and small, has a statue of this national symbol. Other local heroes, including Bertrand de Guesclin and William the Conqueror, also have a statue in an attempt to revive a glorious past. Other groups with equestrian statues are generals from the two world wars and freedom fighters, both from France and from abroad, such as Washington and José de San Martin.