Les Invalides is one of the most important attractions in Paris. It is made up of a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris and has museums and monuments of the military history of France. One of its most notable possessions is the tomb of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Les Invalides is, without a doubt, one of the top historical places to visit while in France. Paris is a city bursting with attractions, and it is not possible to see all of them in one go. It has long been the capital of France and one of the most important cities in Europe. Paris can also be an expensive place to visit - but there are tips for having a more budget-friendly time while in Paris.
Les Invalides - The Museum, Shrine, & Veteran Retirement Home
Formerly the Les Invalides was the Hôtel national des Invalides and was built as a hospital and retirement home for war veterans. It was built in the 1670s by King Louis XIV to accommodate 4,000 Invalides (disabled war veterans).
- Built: In the 1670s
- Original Purpose: To House Disabled War Veterans
It also played a part during the French Revaluation. At the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, the mob broke into the building and seized 32,000 rifles before marching to storm the Bastille.
Today the complex is still partly used for disabled war veterans but also as a national military museum and as a shrine for France's national heroes (notably Napoleon). The complex's Musée de l'Armée has the largest collection of the history of the French military in the country. The exhibits date from ancient times up to the present day.
The complex contains the:
- Musée de l'Armée: The Military Museum Of The French Army
- Musée des Plans-Reliefs
- Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine
- Dôme des Invalides: The Former Royal Chapel and Tallest Church in Paris
This is one of the best places to learn about the history of France.
Planning One's Visit To The Les Invalides
Les Invalides is open every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. On Tuesdays, the museum has late-night openings until 9.00 pm. Accessible spaces include the Dome, the temporary exhibition, the Louis XIV-Napoleon department, the Historial Charles de Gaulle, and the Extraordinary cabinets.
- Open: Every From 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
- Tuesdays: Late Nights to 9.00 pm
- Closed: January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th
- Address: 129, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Visitors can rent a digital guide in Les Invalides for 5 Euros ($5.00) - they are available in English and other languages. These come with two itineraries - the Museum's essential exhibits and the current temporary exhibition.
The Museum also offers a number of guided tours aimed at different age groups. They also have activities designed for kids and families, like creating their own coat of arms, investigation games, workshops, fun tours, and more. Some activities for young children and teenagers may only be offered in French.
They offer adult tours in English year round and both private tours and group tours. Their tours include tours of the Museum's treasures, temporary exhibitions, secrets of Les Invalides, themed tours, and more.
Tour Of Napoleon's Tomb
One of the more interesting tours offered is the tour of Emperor Napoleon's tomb. This tour discovers one of the most prestigious monuments of Paris.
With a knowledgeable guide, one will discover the history and architecture of the highly emblematic place of France. One will also see a 16th-century collection of the armor of François that weighs over 30 kg.
See famous paintings of Napoleon and the Dome of Invalides. Here one will see the impressive Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Hear the legends and tales surrounding Napoleon's death in 1821 on the island of St Helena.
- Duration: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
- Cost: 17 Euros ($17 Dollars)
- Group Size: 20-25 People
The ticket includes access to the collections and temporary exhibitions so that one can continue to explore the Musée de l'Armée after the tour.
Napoleon's remains were repatriated to France from the remote island of Saint Helena, where he spent his last days in exile. His remains were brought to France in 1840, and the tomb was inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1861.