The Treaty of Tilsit

The Treaty of Tilsit
07 July 2016

On 7th July 1807, Napoleon and Alexander I signed the Treaty of Tilsit, which marked the end of the war between Russia and France. The treaty was unusual in that it was signed on a raft in the middle of the Neman river near the town of Tilsit, which is now Sovetsk in Kaliningrad, Russia.

Terms of the Treaty

The Tilsit treaty united Russia and France against Britain. They split Europe up between them, vastly reducing Prussia’s territory and distributing it between Russia and a handful of independent kingdoms such as Saxony and Westphalia.

Napoleon and Alexander

During the course of the negotiations, Napoleon and Alexander developed a good relationship. Medallions produced at the time to commemorate the Treaty of Tilsit even show Alexander and Napoleon embracing! The two emperors spent many hours discussing matters of government and strategy. Historians say Alexander particularly discussed constitutions, which were a source of fascination throughout his life.


In spite of Alexander and Napoleon leaving Tilsit as allies and friends, the terms of the treaty did not last. By 1810, Alexander once again allowed neutral shipping in Russian ports, which went against the terms of the treaty. In 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia, symbolically crossing the Neman river where they had signed the Tilsit treaty five years earlier.

Posted by Megan Beddoe

Hi! I'm Megan, a university student from the UK, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Language Centre in Moscow. My parents live in a small village in Kent, but I go to university in London. I started learning Russian just nine months ago, but I never dreamed I would be spending summer in Moscow studying it! I study history at university, where I have become very interested in Russian history, especially Peter the Great, the Decembrists and Siberia throughout Russian history, so I hope to write about everyday history in the city while I am here. My month in Moscow is the perfect way to absorb as much Russian culture and history as possible, so I can go back to university ready for my final year and to write my dissertation on Siberian Exiles in 17th Century. Outside the classroom, I enjoy playing sports - I have fenced for England and Great Britain and I am captain of the LSE Women’s Basketball Team - and I also love to travel. My favourite places (aside from Moscow of course!) have been Cape Town, for its immense natural beauty, and Budapest, for its fun atmosphere! I love to try local food wherever I go, so I hope to be blogging about the culinary delights of Moscow during my stay here.

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