Paris - Les Invalides

The Hotel des Invalides includes a chapel, cathedral and three museums all of which are military related. A section is dedicated to the health care of French soldiers and veterans.

Paris - Les Invalides

I guess the first thing that caught my eye when we approached this complex was the array of huge patina cannons on trolleys. Very impressive, and you even get a view of the Eiffel Tower as well. These cannons form the Triumphal Battery of the Hotel Les Invalides museum.

Paris - Les Invalides

In fact there are several cannons in this area. These Prussian cannons date back to around 1700. Take a close look at the intricate details of these.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

The smaller cannons are Turkish howitzers from the 1500’s.

Paris - Les Invalides

I guess I really liked the “green” colour and the patterns of the cannons. Lots of photos here.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

The Musee de L’Armee is a national military museum of France located at Les Invalides. It was created in 1905 and is one of the three largest arms museums in the world.

Paris - Les Invalides

The architecture with its many arches and balconies is traditional Baroque style. The roof is adorned with many intricately carved statues. Try to zoom in to see these. They all seem to be a different design.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

The main courtyard displays artillery gathered during the French Revolution and traces 200 years of French field artillery history.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Inside the museum is a huge weaponry collection. This place would be great to bring children to. It is difficult to comprehend how men (and horses) in the 13th to 17th centuries actually wore this incredibly heavy armour.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Some of the exhibits were in glass cases, therefore a little difficult to photograph.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

There is lots information in both English and French telling you about the artefacts. A good idea is to photograph this information if you don’t have the time to stop and ready everything.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Lots of armour – so much to photograph.

Paris - Les Invalides

A great way to spend a few hours if you (or your husband) is interested in this.

Paris - Les Invalides

 

The Dôme des Invalides is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex. Inspired by St Peters Basilica in Rome, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture.

Paris - Les Invalides

The dome itself is a prominent feature on the Paris landscape and features oranate gilded military helmets and trophies. A cross sits atop a three-sided obelisk.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Entry to Les Invalides Dome church is impressive with its wide staircase and beautifully restored front doors.

Paris - Les Invalides

The “SL” refers to Saint-Louis, the King of France. The fleurs-de-lys refers to all the kings of France.

Paris - Les Invalides

Stepping inside, the main altar is a huge standout with its beauty. At the top of the steps leading to the altar is a marble and bronze 7m high canopy supported by spiral columns. So ornate.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Behind the altar is a glass screen that looks into the original church.

Paris - Les Invalides

The ceilings seem to match with magnificent paintings and beautiful carvings.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Look down at the many different patterns of the marble floors.

Paris - Les Invalides

Zoom in on the little details.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

The dome was designated to become the funeral place of Napoleon. Ousted in 1815 by the allied armies, Napoleon had stayed so popular that King Louis-Philippe had his remains returned to France to this final resting place under the dome in 1861.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

The sarcophagus of Napoleon Bonaparte was sculpted from blocks of purple quartzite and sits on a plinth of green granite.

Paris - Les Invalides

Facing the tomb are twelve female statues carrying attributes of victory referring to Napoleon’s successful military campaigns.

Paris - Les Invalides

As you wander around, you will see the crypts of other famous military leaders. These are the tombs of Foch and Lyautey.

Paris - Les Invalides

Paris - Les Invalides

Another is the grave of Napoleon’s son, Napoleon II who died in 1832. On top stands his statue.

Paris - Les Invalides

While Les Invalides may not be as popular as other Paris landmarks, it is definitely worth the visit for its history and for the opulence of it all. The surrounding grounds are also a pleasant place to walk around and perhaps have a picnic.

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