If you’re looking for an impressive historical sight to visit in France, look no further than Les Invalides, Paris. This awe-inspiring complex is home to a variety of museums and monuments, each telling its own fascinating story. Whether you’re a history buff or simply want to see some incredible architecture, Les Invalides should be at the top of your list!
Les Invalides, Paris. General Information, History of Les Invalides
Les Invalides, Paris (formally the Hôtel national des Invalides or Hôtel des Invalides) is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France. The project was inaugurated in 1670 by the king Louis XIV, and finished in 1676.
The most notable building in the complex is the church of Saint-Louis des Invalides, which was built to house the remains of French soldiers who had died in battle. The church and the royal chapel were designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
Other buildings in the complex include a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans (the complex was build for this purpose). Les Invalides is also home to the Musée de l’Armée, one of the largest military museums in the world. The museum contains artifacts from all periods of French history, as well as an extensive collection of documents and photographs. Visitors to Les Invalides can also see the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, which is located here. Now let’s go through the best attractions to see in Les Invalides, Paris.
It’s definitely the most popular places to visit in Les Invalides, Paris. Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most famous figures in history, and his final resting place is a fitting tribute to his legacy. Napoleon’s Sarcophagus is located in Le Dôme des Invalides, and contains the emperor’s body as well as many of his personal belongings.
The tomb itself is made of red quartzite and green granite, and it is adorned with sculptures and inscriptions that celebrate Napoleon’s life and accomplishments. Every year on the anniversary of Napoleon’s death, a wreath-laying ceremony is held at the tomb, attended by world leaders and dignitaries. For anyone interested in learning more about Napoleon’s life and times, a visit to the Dome Church is an essential part of any trip to Paris.
Musée de l’Armée
The Musée de l’Armée (the Museum of the Army) is located in the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris and is one of the largest museums of military history in the world. The museum traces its origins back to the Louvre, where military trophies and artifacts were displayed. Under Napoleon, the collection was expanded and relocated to the Invalides, where it has remained ever since.
Today, the museum houses over 500,000 artifacts, including weapons, armor, paintings, and sculptures. The collection covers a wide range of historical periods, from Ancient Greece to the 20th century. The Musée de l’Armée is a must-see while visiting Les Invalides, Paris, for anyone interested in French military history.
Esplanade des Invalides
The Esplanade des Invalides is a large public park in Paris, France. Located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It covers over 13 hectares and is home to the Hôtel des Invalides. Visitors to the Esplanade can stroll through its manicured gardens, visit the museums, or pay their respects at the many war memorials. On sunny days, the park is a popular spot for picnics, sunbathing, sightseeing the courtyard, and people-watching.
The Esplanade des Invalides is a beautiful park that is definitely worth a visit when in Les Invalides, Paris. Whether you’re interested in its history, want to enjoy the gardens, or pay your respects at the war memorials, there is something for everyone. The park is easily accessible by public transportation and is absolutely worth a visit. If you get hungry after sightseeing, check out De Grenelle de Pékin – one of the best Chinese restaurants in the area.
See the Pont Alexandre III
There’s no denying that the Pont Alexandre III is one of the most impressive bridges in Paris. Built in 1900 for the World’s Fair, this bridge spans the Seine River and connects the Champs-Élysées to the Invalides.
While the bridge is beautiful any time of day, it’s especially stunning at night when it’s lit up with many lightbulbs. If you want to get a truly magical experience, take a ride on the riverboat at night and enjoy the Pont Alexandre III and sights of Les Invalides, Paris in all its glory.
What’s your favorite thing to see in Les Invalides, Paris? Leave a comment!
- The Attractions and History of the Champ de Mars: The Park Between the Eiffel Tower and École Militaire in Paris
- Discover the Oldest Park in Paris: Tuileries Garden in Paris (Jardin des Tuileries)
- Arc de Triomphe in Paris (l’Arc de Triomphe): Parisian Monument From Napoleonic Times
- All About Place Vendome: Exploring the History and Meaning of Place Vendôme in Paris
- The Musée Rodin, Paris: Discover the Works of Sculptor Auguste Rodin and More at the Rodin Museum (Hôtel Biron)
- Exploring Chateau de Vincennes near Paris: The Medieval Castle of Château de Vincennes and Its History
- All About La Defense, Paris – The Meaning and Attractions of La Défense, the Largest Business District in Europe
- Louvre Museum: All You Should Know About Musée du Louvre