1814: The students defend Paris

On March 30, 1814, Prussian, Russian and Austrian troops reached the Paris city limits. The students of l’X, despite being only recently trained in artillery combat, defended the gate known as the Barrière du Trône (located in the modern-day Place de la Nation). Although Paris surrendered and the students retreated into the night, they received a number of honors for their conduct. This was École Polytechnique’s sole feat of arms, resulting in the inscription "Defense of Paris, 1814" being added to its official flag. In 1914, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Paris, a bronze statue was erected to commemorate the institution’s contribution to defending the city. It depicts a l’X student in a uniform from 1814 and is found in Vaneau Court on the École Polytechnique campus in Palaiseau.