Les Invalides officially known as L'Hotel national des Invalides is a complex of buildings wich containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans.
The buildings house the museum of the Army of France and the Museum d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France's war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte. The church attached houses the tomb of Napoleon. The tomb crafted in red porphyry from Russia...
The most famous one is The...
The most famous one is The Lourve Museum. It is world well known and largest, in term of collection and size. Yingna and myself, decided to visit the Lourve Museum today.
The Lourve Museum was constructed around 1200 as royal palace, then became public museum in 1973. The Lourve's entrance is covered by a glass pyramid designed by American Chinese I.M. Pei. It was completed in 1990.
Visit the Truimph Arch during...
Visit the Truimph Arch during the day and at night. Located at the end of the avenue des Champs-Elysees, the beauiful arch is Napoleon's monument to his long-suffering troops, and symbolises freedom for the French. The arch also houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with its Flame of Remembrance. Catch the moving ceremony conducted every evening at 6.30Pm when the flame is rekindled in commemoration of the millions who died on the battlefields.
From the viewing platform on top of the Arch, you will be able to see the 12 avenues radiating from the Arch. This explains why it is also called place de l'Etoile, where Etoile means star in English.
Just a few tips for a better trip!
- Travel while you're young! In most museums and attractions, people under the age of 25 get a really good discount :o)
- Most museums close at 6:00 pm, if not earlier, so make sure to plan your day accordingly.
- It is quite possible to travel to Paris on a budget: walking around is free, so is visiting all the beautiful churches, and there are no entrance fees for cemeteries and some of the smaller museums (Victor Hugo's and Balzac's houses for instance). To visit the other museums and monuments, the best thing to do is to condense your museum days in 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days and buy a museum pass (30, 45 and 60 Euros, respectively) - you'll save a lot!
- Speaking English only shouldn't be too much of a problem - almost every time I spoke in French, people replied in English!?!?! (I really can't believe my Quebecois accent is THAT bad!)
- Most restaurants' kitchens are closed in the afternoon and will only serve sandwiches so if you really want to eat lunch, make sure you do so at noon.
- Service is included everywhere you go, but if the waiter was nice, you can leave an extra 5-10% tip.
- Again, if you're traveling on a budget, you can save a lot by eating a baguette for lunch - actually, that's what most Parisians do! There are plenty of bakeries around the city and most restaurants also have a little take-out counter where you can get a delicious sandwich (curry chicken, dry sausage, goat cheese, country ham... the list is endless!) for about 3-5 Euros.
- There are many young women panhandling in all the touristic sites. Most will come up to you and ask if you speak English, then show you a piece of paper with a story about a sick younger brother on it. They're not really pushy, so you can just walk away.
- In case you're wondering, the free public restrooms aren't that bad (and chances are you're gonna need to use them at some point as there are no convenient store/doughnut shop-type of places where you can stop to use the restrooms).
Light a candle ...
In every church you enter you will see a bank of lighted candles. These can be in memory [as these are in St. Germain de Près], or as a offering to a saint in thanks or in hope ... They usually cost around 1 euro.