Dômes - Hôtel des Invalides, Paris

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  • Hotel des Invalides
    Hotel des Invalides
    by Twan
  • Altar and tomb
    Altar and tomb
    by Nemorino
  • Napoleon's tomb - Paris - France
    Napoleon's tomb - Paris - France
    by solopes
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Musée de l'Armée - Modern department 1648 - 1870.

    by breughel Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    Colonel du 3e R��giment de Cuirassiers 1810
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    After 3 years of renovation works the Département Moderne (1648 - 1870) is again open in the Eastern wing of the Invalides court yard with the splendid collections from the French military history starting with Louis XIV, XV, XVI, continuing with the Revolution, Napoleon I, the Restoration to end with Napoleon III.

    It was a real pleasure to see again all these brilliant uniforms (photo 1) from a time where soldiers did not mind about camouflage. Glitter and colours were the rule even for the ordinary soldier.
    The museography has been markedly improved although some rooms are too dark.
    I can agree that the colour of the uniforms has to be preserved from discoloration by light but is this necessary for arms? Some display windows are so dark that it is difficult to distinguish the details of the weapons (see my photo 2).

    A great improvement is the use of video means to show some of the famous battles of that time. I could finally understand why Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo.
    Terrible souvenir from that battle is the breast-plate from a French carabineer pierced by a cannonball (photo 3).

    Historical explanations are in French and English. Indications on individual items are in French.

    The two other departments: Antique armours and arms 13-17 th century and the World Wars department 1871-1945 (ref. my tips) are located in the opposite West wing.

    Open every day: 10 - 17 h from 1/10 to 31/03; 10 - 18 h from 1/04 to 30/09.
    Closed: 1st Monday of each month, except July, August & September.
    Evening opening on Tuesday until 21 h from 1/04 to 30/09.

    The ticket office is located on the south side just left of the Dome. No queues from my experience.
    Price (2013) full: 9,50 €
    Discount fee: 7,50 € on Tuesday evenings from 17 h.
    Free: children under 18 years old.
    - 18 to 25 years old nationals of the EU.

    ONE SINGLE TICKET gives access to the Musée de l'Armée, to the Tomb of Napoleon I, to the Historial Charles de Gaulle (closed on Mondays), the Scale-Models Museum and to the Order of the Liberation Museum (closed till 18/06/2014).

    Photos allowed.

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    Walking through "Le Quartier des Invalides"

    by Jefie Updated Apr 29, 2007

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    Resting up my feet at the Champs-de-Mars!
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    Walking through the streets of Paris is a great way to discover the city, and you don't have to pay a dime! Here are some tips for a quick walking tour of Les Invalides:

    This walking tour actually starts by lying down on the Champ-de-Mars! Located in front of the Military Academy, this area once served as a parade square for the cadets. On a nice day or on a warm evening, hundreds of people come to the Champ-de-Mars to have a picnic while enjoying the view of the Eiffel Tower. The only problem is: don't try to find a square feet of grass that doesn't have a cigarette stub on it - we've tried and failed.

    From the Champ-de-Mars, exit on Avenue Bouvard, cross Avenue Bourdonnais, turn onto Avenue Rapp, and locate No. 29. There you'll see a house that was built in 1901 by architect Jules Laviolette. It has a richly decorated facade and is a great example of Art Nouveau.

    Go back to Bourdonnais and turn onto rue Saint-Dominique. By then you might be getting a little hungry so turn on Rue Cler, a nice little pedestrian streets well known for its cafes and fine products boutiques.

    When you're done drinking that half-liter of French wine you can go back on rue Saint-Dominique and keep walking in the direction of Boulevard Saint-Germain until you come across rue de Martignac. There sits Sainte-Clotilde, the first neogothic church built in Paris. Architect Francois-Christian Gau started building the church in 1846 but passed away before its completion. Theodore Ballu took over and the church was finally finished in 1856.

    From there you'll be a step away from the next neighborhood, Saint-Germain-des-Prés!

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    Bonaparte's Final Resting Place

    by fishandchips Updated May 11, 2006

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    Bonaparte's Box

    The liitle Corsican who became Emporer of France and their greatest soldier, has his final resting place at the Hotel des Invalides. To allow the tomb to fit, architect Visconti had to redesign the church's high altar. First buried on St. Helena, Napoleon's remains were exhumed and brought to Paris in 1840 on the orders of Louis-Philippe, who demanded that the English return the emperor to French soil.

    There is a whole lot of Napoleon stuff to see including field bed, his bedroom as it was at the time of his death on St. Helena, the hat he wore at Eylau, the sword from his Austerlitz victory and his "Flag of Farewell," (which he in theory kissed before departing for Elba). There is also an interesting oil by Delaroche painted at the time of Napoleon's first banishment (Apr 1814) depicting Napoleon rather worse for the wear (paunch and all).

    The tomb room is interesting to visit if not just for the carved figures who will look at the box for eternity, a dozen Amazon-like figures representing Napoleon's victories.

    Admission to Napoleon's Tomb (incl. Musée de l'Arméeand Musée des Plans-Reliefs) is 7€ and the place is open daily from 10am until 5, 6 or 7pm depending on the time of year.

    A bit of trivia - the willow trees on the banks of the Avon River in my home town of Christchurch, New Zealand are cuttings from the trees on St Helena - where Napoleon spent his final days.

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    MUSEE DE L'ARMEE - The best in the world!

    by breughel Updated Feb 22, 2014

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    Cuirassier et Guide de la Garde Imp��riale 1860.
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    MUSEE DE L'ARMEE - The best in the world!
    Now that the Département Moderne (1648 - 1870) with the splendid collections from the French military history starting with Louis XIV, XV, XVI, continuing with the Revolution, Napoleon I, the Restoration, Napoleon III have been renovated and displayed in a new museography I can say that this is the best museum of military history in the world.

    Furthermore the Invalides are one of the most beautiful architectural complexes of Paris. Approaching by the Seine and the Esplanade or by the back from the south, with the Dome, a great harmony of proportions emanates from the Hôtel des Invalides. (Ref my tip Invalides outside).

    The various museums of the Invalides cover in several departments the military history of France, and consequently an important part of Europe, under the following museums or departments now all renovated:

    Musée de l'Armée.
    - Antique armours and arms department -13th - 17 the century (ref. my tip)
    - Modern Department from Louis XIV to Napoleon III (ref. my tip Modern Department )
    - The World Wars department 1871-1945 (ref. my tip WW I and II)

    Musée des Plans-Reliefs (ref. my tip Plans -reliefs).
    Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération (ref. my tip Order of Liberation). (presently closed).

    L' Historial Charles De Gaulle.
    The Dome Church with the Tomb of Napoleon (ref. my tips Napoleon's deification and Napoleon ).
    Artillery (outside).

    Open every day (2013): 10 - 17 h from 1/10 to 31/03; 10 - 18 h from 1/04 to 30/09.
    Closed: 1st Monday of each month except July, August & September.
    Evening opening on Tuesday until 21 h from 1/04 to 30/09.
    The Dome Church (Napoleon's tomb) is opened until 18.45 h in July and in August.

    The ticket office is located on the south side just left of the Dome. No queues from my experience.
    Price full: 9,50 €
    Discount fee : 7,50 € on Tuesday evenings from 17 h.
    Free : under 18 years old.
    - 18 to 25 years old, EU citizens.

    ONE SINGLE TICKET gives access to the Musée de l'Armée, to the Tomb of Napoleon I, to the Historial Charles de Gaulle (closed on Mondays), the Scale-Models Museum and to the Order of the Liberation Museum (closed till 18/06/2014).

    Photos allowed.

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    ARMY MUSEUM - REOPENING of MODERN DEPARTMENT.

    by breughel Written Apr 4, 2010

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    Grenadiers de la Garde Imp��riale.

    On 20/03/2010 the new rooms of the Modern Department concerning the period from LOUIS XIV to NAPOLEON III (1643-1870) have been fully reopened to the public.

    Closed since January 2006, the permanent galleries of the Army Museum located in the East Wing have been fully retrofitted under the program ATHENA (2003-2010).
    There had been a partial opening in May 2009.

    This department is, in my opinion, the best of the entire Invalides museum.
    The collection, 3700 m2 on two floors, of arms and uniforms of that period is unequalled.
    It is a must for any amateur or connoisseur of the military history of France and Europe of the 17th - 19th centuries.

    Open: 1/04 - 30/09, 10h - 18 h, Tuesday till 21 h
    1/10 - 31/03, 10h - 17h
    Closed : each first Monday of the month except in July, August & September and 1/01, 1/05, 1/11, 25/12.

    Price: combined ticket Invalides 9 €, reduced 7€, free less than 26 years old.

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    Musée de l'Armée - Ancient arms

    by breughel Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    Invalides - Suit of armour of knight
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    This department of medieval arms has been renovated in 2005 and with 2500 m2 has now one of the best collections in the world after Vienna "Hofjagd-und Rüstkammer" and Madrid (now transferred to Toledo) (ref. my reviews of these museums).

    The new circuit of visit evokes the military history of France between the 13th and the 17th century, combined with thematic spaces about the productions of the big European workshops in Milan, Augsbourg and Innsbruck in the 16th century, the suits of armours of joust and tournaments, the weapons for hunting, the oriental weapons. Most spectacular are the suits of armour of the French kings in the Royal room - Crown Collections. This former dining hall gathers together prestigious pieces from French and foreign royal collections of ornate weapons from princely arms manufacturers

    This department is really worthwhile visiting.

    Open: 10 - 17 h from 1/10 to 31/03
    10 - 18 h from 1/04 to 30/09
    Closed: 1st Monday of each month (except July, August, September).

    Price (2013): combined ticket Invalides 9 € 50, reduced 7 € 50, free less than 26 years old. Includes entry to the Tomb of Napoleon, Army museum, Relief Map museum and Museum of the Order of Liberation.

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    Musée de l'Armée - The only tank.

    by breughel Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    Invalides - Tank from 1918

    The department devoted to the world wars does not comprise heavy material such as tanks except some elements of tank turrets at the upper floor of WWII. The amateurs must go to the Tank Museum of Saumur (on the river Loire - www.musee-des-blindes.asso.fr ).
    However there is one tank in the army museum of the Invalides but hidden in a hall at the angle of the Army museum and the Saint-Louis church.
    The visit is really worth it because the tank is one of the first operational tanks used successfully in WWI. My photo shows this famous light tank Renault FT 17 used since 1918 and produced to several thousands of specimens. Nearly 500 such tanks were engaged in the battle of Soissons (1918).
    Those who have put their feet in a tank will appreciate the characteristics of this ancestor:
    Weight 7 to, length 5 m, shielding 22 mm and maximum speed 7,5 km/h. Crew of 2 men. Canon of 37 mm and machine-gun under rotating turret of 360°. The FT 17 fixed the type of tanks for the wars to come.

    ============================

    Le département consacré aux guerres mondiales ne comporte pas de matériel lourd tels que des chars sauf quelques éléments de tourelles de char à l'étage supérieur de la guerre 40 -45. Les amateurs doivent se rendre au Musée des Blindés à Saumur.
    Pourtant il y un char au musée des Invalides mais caché dans un hall à l'angle du musée de l'Armée et de l'église Saint-Louis. Sa visite vaut la peine car il s'agit d'un des premiers chars opérationnels utilisés avec succès à la guerre de 1914-18. Près de 500 chars furent engagés dans la bataille de Soissons. Ma photo montre ce fameux char léger Renault FT 17 utilisé dès 1918 et produit à plusieurs milliers d'exemplaires.
    Ceux qui par obligation de milice ou métier auront mis leurs pieds dans un char apprécieront ses caractéristiques:
    Poids 7 to, longueur 5 m, blindage 22 mm et vitesse maximum 7,5 km/h. Equipage de 2 hommes
    Canon de 37 mm et mitrailleuse sous tourelle à rotation de 360°. Il fixa ainsi le type même du char de combat pour les guerres à venir.

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    The Tomb of Napoleon II

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 16, 2006

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    The Tomb of Napoleon II
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    The tomb of Napoleon II is placed in a small chapel inside the crypt of Napoleon's Tomb, with access from the gallery surrounding the red porphyry sarcophagus.

    Napoleon II, King of Rome, Prince Imperial of France was the son of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his second wife Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

    He died of tuberculosis at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna in 1832 and his remains were transferred to Les Invalides in 1940 as a gift of Adolf Hitler.

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    Deja Vu at Napolean's tomb

    by bpacker Updated Oct 22, 2004

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    Here lies the little emperor

    When you're in Paris, you'll probably suffer from a serious case of jaw ache. I did . Each time I see an astounding piece of architecture, my jaw just drops.

    Yes, it dropped when I saw the golden Mansart's dome at Les Invalides, which was not too far from the Rodin Museum. Somehow, the grandeur of the place and the beautiful surrounding gardents just struck me with its familiarity. True indeed, I later found out that this place, which consists of a complex of museums and monuments as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans was initiated by the Sun King, King Louis XIV in November 24, 1670. The same chap who put the finishing touches to the Versailles palace.

    Of course, I need to mention that this site also holds the notable tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) in the crypt under Mansart's dome. How fitting, this grand building will fit this little emperor with a great ego pretty well.

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    Invalides

    by smschley Updated Mar 18, 2005

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    The Invalides were created under Louis XIV, the Sun King, to come to the aid of old soldiers who had been forced into either panhandling or subsiding on church charity especially those who had been wounded in battle (hence `invalides’); . So the institution of the Invalides was created in 1670 and quickly became home to 4000 wounded soldiers. Many of the arms used by the mob when it attacked the Bastille on 14 July 1789 were taken from Les Invalide on the morning of that day. Despite resistance by the posted sentries, they were overwhelmed by the mob which finally entered the underground rifle storehouse. Roughly 28,000 arms were taken.

    Napoleon’s tomb is a fairly imposing structure, housed in red porphyry, laid on a slab of green granite and consisting of seven coffins set one inside the other, the tomb is at the center of the room, atop a high pedestal which stands in a cellar . All around the room are friezes depicting Napoleon’s many deeds, with the emperor himself represented in each as the Emperor of Rome

    Today, some handicapped people still live in a part of it, while the rest has been turned into museums. Among them are a War Museum dedicated to Charles DeGaulle; a museum dedicated to the horse soldiers; another one of armor; one filled with military banners and flags that had actually been carried into war, and the church of St. Louis which houses the tomb of Napoleon as well as his brother, Joseph, who had been the King of Spain.

    What stuck me most was the row after row of the flags of napoleons grand army, each representing thousands of men who fought for this megalomaniac. You could almost feel the pride and pomp they must have had on their way to Moscow 500,000 strong and the humiliation they experienced leaving their pennants on the snow as only 50,000 returned,

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    L’Église du Dôme, The Tomb of Napoléon I

    by von.otter Updated Jul 6, 2009

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    Les Invalides, Tomb of Napol��on I, 07/08
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    “I desire that my ashes may rest on the banks of the Seine in the midst of the French people whom I have loved so well.”
    — Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) from his last will and testament; this is carved above the lintel of the door leading to the crypt where the Little Corporal’s sarcophagus stands

    Napoleon had died on the Island of St. Helena, where he had been exiled since 1815; and he was buried there. By and by his wish was granted. In 1840 Louis-Philippe, King of the French, secured permission from Napoleon’s keepers, the British, to have the Little Corporal’s body exhumed and returned to Paris. The king chose to have Napoleon entombed at Les Invalides.

    Once the Emperor’s remains had arrived in Paris a national funeral procession followed them down the Champs Élysées as they made their way to the Invalides on 15.December.1840. In 1842 Louis-Philippe commissioned Ludovico Visconti to transform the Dôme Church to act as host for the Emperor’s tomb. While the church was being renovated to accommodate the Emperor, his casket rested in a side chapel, Chapelle de Saint-Jerôme, of the Dôme Church. In the presence of his nephew, Napoléon III, the earthly remains of Napoléon I were finally laid to rest on the 2nd of April 1861.

    The sarcophagus, crafted in red porphyry from Russia, rests on a green granite base from the Vosges, is encircled by a crown of laurel leaves and the names of eight military campaigns led by Napoléon. A dozen colossal white marble Victories frame the dramatic scene.

    Bonaparte’s body lies within six nesting coffins. From the inside out, they are made of oak, ebony, two of lead, mahogany, and iron; all enveloped in the red porphyry sarcophagus. It took more than a year to quarry the 15 blocks of porphyry, one weighing 200 tons, that produced the sarcophagus.

    Directly under the Church’s splendid dome is an open, circular crypt, 36 feet in diameter. Leaning on the marble railing, I looked down upon the dark red sarcophagus, thirteen feet long and nearly fifteen feet high. The design of the tomb is simple, massive and singularly solemn and impressive. Three times I have looked down upon the remains of the man who for twenty years ruled Europe and made France the leading nation of the world. Each time it was impossible not to be thrilled by the grand scene.

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    Napoleon's Tomb - the sarcophagus

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 16, 2006

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    Napoleon's Tomb - the sarcophagus
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    The magnificent sarcophagus containing Napoleon's body is placed in a circular crypt located in the center of the church.

    It's important to emphasize that the central crypt was made so as not to alter the view of the altar from the entrance.

    The access to the crypt is made through two stairs located on both sides of the altar.
    At the entrance to the crypt two impressive bronze statues hold the Imperial sceptre and the crown.

    The sarcophagus is made of red porphyry and is placed on a green granite base.
    The body of the Emperor is placed in 6 coffins, one inside the other, made of: tin-plate, mahogany, lead, ebony and oak.

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    The Grand Tomb of Napoléon!

    by BeatChick Updated Mar 16, 2006

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    Dual Domes - Les Invalides & Pantheon
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    Hôtel National des Invalides

    Inside Invalides lies Napoléon’s famous red porphyry Tomb. Six coffins lie stacked within each other like Russian doll boxes with the remains of the Emporer. I believe it is Napoléon's ashes that are inside although I've read that he was buried standing up. One thing I do know is that he is without his "best bits" as the British like to call them. It seems a urologist in the U.S. owns his 1-inch member preserved inside a glass jar.

    I visited Invalides in April 2003 to see the tombeau & to view the museum. You walk in on one level with the porphyry tomb laid out before you below. You can then walk below to see the tomb from various angles but don't get to close as it is heavily guarded.

    Inside are audio guides available for a few euros.

    Entry fee: 7€, 5.50€ students, free for anyone under 18

    Photos: March 2001 & April 2006

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    Hotel des Invalides

    by fishandchips Updated Apr 26, 2006

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    Hotel des Invalides

    In 1670, the Sun King (Louis XIV) decided to build this "hotel" to house disabled soldiers. It wasn't an entirely benevolent gesture, considering that the men had been injured, crippled, or blinded while fighting his battles. A gilded dome by Jules Hardouin-Mansart crowns it and its corridors stretch for miles.

    The best way to approach the Invalides is by crossing over the Right Bank via the early-1900s pont Alexander-III and entering the cobblestone forecourt, where a display of massive cannons makes a formidable welcome.

    There are many things to see here with Napolean's tomb probably the top of most peoples list. It sits on a pedestal in a round room and is a suitable monument to France's most famous war soldier.

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    Dome Church of Les Invalides

    by easyoar Written Nov 20, 2004

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    Dome Church of Les Invalides

    Hotel Les Invalides was originally built by King Louis XIV (the Sun King) to look after the wounded and homeless soldiers (it was also a monument to his own glory).

    Towards the end of the project, King Louis decided to build the Dome Church within the existing complex of buildings. A soldiers church already existed, but this church was designed to be used exclusively by Louis, and was supposed to house the royal tombs. However after Louis died, these plans were abandoned. However what did happen in 1841 was that Napoleons remains were brougt back from St Helena (19 years after he died) and placed in the middle of the crypt.

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