Les Invalides, Paris

Les Invalides, Paris (must see)

Les Invalides, officially known as L'Hôtel National des Invalides, is a group of buildings in Paris containing museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. It was originally built as a hospital and retirement home for aged and unwell war veterans. The complex had fifteen courtyards, with the largest – Cour d’honneur ("Court of Honor") – reserved for military parades. Completed in 1676, the complex once housed up to 4,000 war veterans. Some very important war heroes of France, including Napoleon Bonaparte, are buried here. A veteran’s chapel, Église Saint-Louis des Invalides, was built in 1679. Libéral Bruant, the architect of the Hôtel des Invalides, designed the church, and Jules Hardouin Mansart oversaw its construction.

After the completion of the veteran’s chapel, Mansart was asked by Louis XIV to build another, detached, centrally-located (so as to demonstrate its supremacy) royal chapel. The most striking feature of this chapel is a 107-meter dome, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The interior of the dome, painted in Baroque style, creates an illusion of space if looked at from below. The chapel took 27 years to build and is a stunning piece of French Baroque architecture. The Hôtel des Invalides is currently home to three museums, namely: The Musee de l’Armee, The Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération. The former is a large museum recounting military history from the early Middle Ages to the Second World War. It features weapons, uniforms, maps, etc., not only from the western world but also from Oriental countries like Turkey, China, Japan, India.

The Musée des Plans-Reliefs (the Relief Maps Museum) displays detailed scale models of French fortresses and fortified cities from the 17th century. The Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération documents France's liberation movement during World War II. Les Invalides is a place well worth visiting. Please note that you will need more than a day to appreciate it in its entirety.

Why You Should Visit:
From Napoleon's campaigns to the world wars, it is all here for you to see. The exhibits cover not just the military aspects of the wars, but also their economic, social and political aspects, their causes and the aftermath. Then, to top it all off, there is Napoleon's tomb. Unmissable and really grand!

Tip:
There is a café on site run by the famous patisserie Angelina's, so go and have some tea and cake for a nice break... :)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Paris, France within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Les Invalides on Map

Sight Name: Les Invalides
Sight Location: Paris, France
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour   Palais-Bourbon Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Le Marais Walking Tour

Le Marais Walking Tour

The district Le Marais used to be a bourgeois area in the past and a major center of the Paris Jewish community that still exists today. Here, you will find different bookshops specializing in Jewish books, restaurants with traditional Jewish food and a synagogue. You may consider taking the self-guided city tour presented below to visit all the important attractions in Le Marais.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre is one of the most famous and visited neighborhoods in Paris. It has some extremely beautiful plazas and marvelous architectural masterpieces. This tour comprises a few of the most popular places to be visited in Montmartre.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour

Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour

This tour takes you to explore the 4th arrondissement of Paris (aka "arrondissement de l'Hôtel-de-Ville") visiting The City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), Notre Dame Cathedral, Maison de Victor Hugo and other notable sights of the district otherwise renowned for its cute little streets, cafes, and shops. Rather fashionable as such, it is also regarded by the locals as expensive and congested. We invite you to take this walk and see for yourself whether it's true or not.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Located on the right bank of the River Seine, the 2nd arrondissement, together with the adjacent 8th and 9th arrondissements, hosts an important business district, centred on the Paris Opéra. The area contains the former Paris Bourse (stock exchange), the Garnier Opera House and the famous Fragonard Perfume Museum.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

The French Revolution had a huge impact on France's history as it gave rise to a radical democratic republic and resulted in violence during the Reign of Terror. A lot of Paris' buildings were damaged beyond repair in the course of the Revolution. The sites they occupied are of a great historical value now. This guide is to highlight the landmarks of the French Revolution that remain.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km
Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour I

Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour I

The capital of France is made up of 20 administrative districts, commonly referred to as “arrondissements”. The 1st arrondissement of Paris sits mainly on the right bank of the River Seine and is one of the city's oldest, smallest and least populated areas. It is home to some of Paris's major landmarks, while the remainder of it is taken up by business and administration offices. On this tour you will visit Place du Châtelet, La Conciergerie, Le Palais Royal, Musée du Louvre and many other notable attractions.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km

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