Les Invalides is one of the most important sites for the french people and their history, as its the home of the monuments and everything related to the military history of the Gaul country. The Hotel Bowmann in Paris provides easy access to the Les Invalides Military Museum which is France’s greatest military museum and is perhaps one of the largest in the world. This was due to the Artillery Museum and the Historical Museums coming together and opening as one in 1905 to the public. After 100 years or so the Army museum also came together with the existing museums and now the museum extends over 8000m2. In its entirety, it consists of the museum and two churches with over 500.000 items of historical importance. On this entry, we’ll cover:
- Les Invalides History and meaning
- Napoleon Tomb Paris
- Les Invalides Army Museum
- Les Invalides tickets and opening hours
- Les Invalides Location
Les Invalides History and meaning
Les Invalides was a project ordered by Louis XIV in 1670 as a hospital and home for aged and injured soldiers. Designed by architect Libéral Bruant, the immense complex was completed in 1676 and boasted 15 courtyards, the largest being the cour d’honneur for military parades. By 1679, a second designer, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, finished both a chapel for the veterans and a private royal chapel known as the Église du Dôme for its 107m high domed roof that dominated the Paris skyline at the time.
As the French Revolution dawned on 14 July 1789, Les Valides was stormed by rioters to seize the weapons stored there, in the process attacking an incarnation of French royalty’s military might. The weapons taken were used later the same day to take the Bastille.
From the 19th century, Les Valides continued to serve as a symbol of French power and integrity: Napoleon was entombed under the great dome in 1840, and in 1894, the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus and his subsequent rehabilitation (1906) took place in front of the main building. Since 1905, the building is home to the Army Museum.
Napoleon Tomb Paris
The Tomb of Napoleon is located in the center of Paris at the beautiful Dôme des Invalides (also known as the Golden Dome). Invalides Chapel or Saint-Jérôme Chapel, constructed by Jules-Hardouin Mansart at the end of the 17th Century, houses Napoleon’s tomb. It was later decided to enclose the remains of Napoleon in a beautifully sculpted casket of a red igneous rock known as porphyry.
In 1815, following Napoleon’s defeat and exile, the Hôtel des Invalides housed almost 5,000 survivors of the once feared Great Army. Many would-be buried around Les Invalides, including Napoleon. The remains of Napoleon Bonaparte were returned to France by ship from the island of Saint Helena approximately 20 years after his death. In 1840, Saint-Jérôme Chapel was designated as his final resting place. The structure of the tomb was designed by Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, an architect during Napoleon III’s reign. The project took nine years to complete and was finished in 1861.
All of the Emperor’s ashes are buried in this mausoleum, which was created by renowned sculptor Louis Visconti. Five distinct urns contain the Emperor’s remains, which were entombed in a crypt at the Dôme des Invalides. Napoleon’s two brothers are also entombed here. The tomb is guarded by the massive Winged Victory of Samothrace, which was sculpted by French artist Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. The statue was completed in 1864 and has been at the site ever since. It is a beautiful and serene sight to behold.
Les Invalides Army Museum
The Army Museum is one of Paris’s most popular places to visit. It is connected to the Invalides and Napoleon’s Tomb. The exhibits are spread across about 8,000 square meters of floor space of the Museum. Also, it is recognized to be one of the most important military museums in the world. From the Middle Ages to the present day, over 500,000 artefacts relating to French military history are on display in the museum’s collection.
The Les Invalides Military Museum was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670. It was primarily used to accommodate and provide hospital care for wounded soldiers. In 1815, after Napoleon’s exit from the throne, The Les Invalides Military Museum accommodated over 5000 survivors from the Great Army. It said that Napoleon visited his men here in 1808, 1813 and 1805.
It was established in 1905, immediately following the World Fair, and is the consequence of the amalgamation of the Artillery Museum, which first opened its doors in 1796, and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. The exhibits are fascinatingly laid out by time period starting from the French Revolution to World War II. In addition, there is a special permanent exhibit dedicated to Charles de Gaulle that is a must to spend time at.
Les Invalides tickets and opening hours
Les Invalides is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The tomb of Napoleon is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Army Museum in Les Invalides is open every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Admission to the Hôtel des Invalides, the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Army Museum is all included in one ticket price.
The general admission price is 14€, and 11€ costs for the discounted ticket (See the discounted and free admission conditions – in French). We recommend double-checking the ticket conditions with the official museum channel and as well for making bookings.
Les Invalides Location
The exact Address of les Invalies is 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France. The complex is located on the 7th arrondissement, on the left bank of the Seine River, very close to the Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars.
Visit Les Invalides in Paris
After a day of much rich french history, come on back to the boutique hotel and spa in Paris, and relax.