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The Banquet of the Century / Le Banquet des Maires 1900

December 1, 2011

The Republicain Banquets

The republican banquet is a tradition dating from the French republic, and politically connotated.

The Campagne des banquets (banquet campaign) were political meetings during the July Monarchy in France which destabilized the King of the French Louis-Philippe. The campaign officially took place from 9 July 1847 to 25 December 1847, but in fact continued until the February 1848 Revolution during which the Second Republic was proclaimed. During this campaign, the Republican triptych Liberté, égalité, fraternité resurfaced, for example in Lille with Ledru-Rollin

The Banquets were private political meetings which were a way to turn around the 1835 Act prohibiting public assemblies.

The first session was in Paris on 9 July 1847, and progressively spread to all of the French provinces. The prohibition of one of these Banquet by François Guizot’s cabinet, were the immediate cause of the riots which led to the 1848 revolution

The Banquet of Mayors from 1900 

22,965 convives!!!

The Banquet of Mayors from 1900 is a huge banquet was held in Paris September 22, 1900 and which were invited all the mayors of France.

Organized at the initiative of President Émile Loubet and his Prime MinisterWaldeck-Rousseau at the Universal Exhibition of 1900 which took place in Paris  which brings together 22,965 convives responded to the invitation.

The Menu

Translation of the Menu


Frozen salmon steaks Paris
Fillet of beef “Bellevue”
Loaves of Rouen ducklings
Roasted Bresse chicken
Bags of pheasants Saint-Hubert
Salad Potel
Ice Success – Condés

For wines, 39,000 bottles of which 1500 Fine Champagne were used and only 9000 botlles of water!

Preignac served in a carafe
St. Julien served in a carafe
Haut Sauternes
Beaune + Margaux Jean Calvet Vintage 1887
Champagne Montebello

The staff was not left over since 3000 had the right to liters of “big red”.


In the garden of the Tuileries, were erected two large tents connected by perpendicular tents. 700 tables of 10 meters long each can accommodate 32 to 36 seats, seven miles, were installed.

The right of the president, sitting President of the Senate, Armand Fallières; to its left is Paul Deschanel, President of the Chamber of Deputies. Council President, Waldeck-Rousseau, ministers, MPs, senators, the judiciary, the military, the nation’s leading figures at the table présidentielle7.

The guests were sorted by department and alphabetically.
According to the wish of the President, the meal did not last more than 90 minutes.

Huge Logistics

The quantities of materials needed were very important to the image of the event:

  •     ten kilometers of fleece sheets,
  •     seven kilometers of fleeces,
  •     seven kilometers of ground,
  •     125 000 plates,
  •     55 000 forks,
  •     55,000 spoons,
  •     60,000 knives,
  •     126 000 glasses

Six bicycles were provided for rapid transmission of orders.
Similarly, an automobile (De Dion-Bouton of 4 CV) allowed to move between tables.

3000 people were employed in the food and service:

11 chefs “bigwigs”
220 party leaders
400 cooks
2150 butlers
50 attendants in the locker room

Similarly, supplies for the meal are impressive:

2000 kg of salmon
1430 pheasants
2500 chickens
1200 liters of mayonnaise
10 000 Peaches
1000 kg of grapes
3000 liters of coffee

1500 Camembert
1400 vanilla ice cream
40 000 petits fours
100 000 bread rolls
2800 baskets of various fruits
Parallel to the meal, a show was held in the Village Hall

The Marseillaise
Dances of old and previously
Dances Barbarians
Greek dances
French dance
Modern Dances
The Song of Departure

With the help of the French Comedy and the National Academy of Music and Dance (Orchestra of the Opera)

Below: “Memorial Diploma dual celebration of the republic and of the exhibition”, presented to the mayors of France who participated in the banquet.
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