About Les Invalides
A shrine to the military history of the French Capital, Les Invalides is a building complex located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Serving as both a care facility for war veterans and a revered place of worship, the compound was designed in the 17th century in Paris. The hospital complex is situated towards the left bank of the River Seine and faces a long esplanade attached to the great river.
Les Invalides is identified by its grand golden dome and intricately decorated features. Its grandiose architecture is the signature of the Baroque style. Constructed by king Louis XIV as a care facility for French war veterans, the complex still holds to its original purpose.
Les Invalides is home to several tourist attractions including three famous museums and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. These sites hold your hand and make you travel through time to the era of the French revolution.
How to Reach Les Invalides
1. By Metro: One can take the metro to the Eco Militaire subway station or the La Tour-Maubourg subway station from anywhere in the city. Les Invalides is at a walking distance from both these stations.
2. By Bus: The nearest bus stations to Les Invalides is Esplanade des Invalides. One can walk to Les Invalides; they arrive at this stop.
3. By Car/Bike: There are several cab services available in Paris that offer both two and four-wheeler options. Cabs are the most convenient way to commute across the country.
What Not to Miss at Les Invalides
Les Invalides is filled with historically significant sites and monuments. Anyone with an inclination to education will love to explore what the complex has to offer.
1. Visit the tomb of Napoleon: The magnificent golden dome that defines Les Invalides is home to the tomb of the celebrated Emperor of the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte. The walls and the ceiling of the dome are gilded and depict the rich stories of the French revolution. The body of the French leader was laid to rest here in 1861.
2. Visit the Church: Conceived in 1676 by King Louis XIV, the church in the dome of Les Invalides is one of the most visited sites of the complex. It is not only revered amongst the people of the Christian community but is also held in high regards among historians. The church is dedicated to Saint Louise and is also popularly known as Eglise Saint Louis des Invalides.
3. Visit the collections of the army museum: The national military museum in Paris known as the Musee de l'Armee is situated in Les Invalides. Fostering several weapons, artefacts, and souvenirs from the several battles and war expeditions of France, the museum attracts hundreds of visitors every day.
4. Visit the Historial De Gaulle: A profound interactive session about all the wars from the first world war to the infamous Algerian war, Historial de Gaulle is one of a kind educational experience. It is an audiovisual space that tells visitors the stories of Charles De Gaulle through archived photographs and exclusive footages.
5. Visit the courtyard with the artillery collection: The main yard of Musee de l'Armee is the central section of Les Invalides. Enclosed by four tall buildings, the patio has two levels of arcades showcasing several statues, dormers and figurines that date back to the olden era.
6. Visit the Jardin du Luxembourg: Popularly known as the Luxembourg Gardens, Jardin du Luxembourg is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It was created in 1612 by the widow of King Henry IV of France, Marie de Medici. The beautiful garden is known for its mesmerizing greenspace and natural beauty along with a few strange statues.
Other Essential Information About Les Invalides
Interesting Facts to Know about Les Invalides
Here are some interesting facts about Les Invalides:
1. The full name of Les Invalides is Hotel national des Invalides which translates to the National Residence of the Invalids.
2. Over 5000 survivors of the Great Army were listed here in 1815.
3. The complex was a medical care and housing unit for French war veterans up until the 20th century.
4. The Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine situated in the complex is home to over one million items related to the French History of the 19th century.
5. The dome of Les Invalides is inspired by St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
6. The dome of the complex is 351 feet high.
7. Charles de La Fosse painted the dome with a unique space technique inspired by the Baroque style.
Places to Eat Near Les Invalides
1. Le Florimond: Boasting of a varied range of authentic French and European cuisines, Le Florimond restaurant is known for its scrumptious meals and refreshing drinks. With the famous lobster ravioli and duck as their speciality, the fine dining restaurant is alight with a pleasant ambience, attentive staff and romantic lighting.
2. Pasco Restaurant: This vegetarian-friendly restaurant situated at 74 boulevards de La Tour Maubourg is known for its French and European dishes. The dim lighting and subtle decoration of the interiors give the restaurant the feel of a typical Parisian restaurant while the immaculate staff caters to every customer need.
3. Reed Restaurant: A vibrant city restaurant with a homely domestic vibe, Reed restaurant situated at the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Loved by all its customers, the restaurant glows with a soft ambience while the loving chef herself serves delicious meals. The cuisines served at the restaurant are authentic French and European.
4. Restaurant Cléo: A stylish restaurant with mouth-watering dishes and old wines, Cléo is one of the most famous restaurants in Paris. The restaurant serves French and European cuisines and is equipped with reservation seating, wheelchair and table service.
Places to Stay Near Les Invalides
1. The Westin Paris - Vendôme: Overlooking the mesmerizing Eiffel tower and the Tuileries gardens, the Westin Paris hotel is a pet-friendly hotel equipped with all modern amenities. The facilities of the hotel include gym, wifi and airport transportation. The rooms in the hotel are current, and the furniture is comfortable. The service is fast, and the staff is warm and friendly.
2. Hotel Le Cinq Codet: Perfectly placed in the heart of one of the most sought after neighbourhoods of Paris, Hotel Le Cinq Codet is known for its breathtaking view of the stylish city. The hotel is famous for its unique facilities like babysitting and gym. The elegant suites come with a minibar, air conditioning and room service.
3. Hotel Plaza Athénée: Situated at the bustling Montaigne Avenue, Hotel Plaza Athénée offers its guests the best that Paris has to offer. This unique restaurant has non-smoking and soundproof rooms that ensure that the stay of its guests is as private and relaxed as possible. Plush with all modern amenities, the hotel boasts of luxurious interiors and comfortable furniture..
4. Hôtel Lutetia: This pet-friendly restaurant located at 25 Avenue Montaigne is a grand luxury hotel offering the most elite and exclusive amenities in Paris. Coming with a DJ Equipped nightclub, the hotel attracts the most affluent of Paris tourists.
Traveller's Tip Before Visiting Les Invalides
1. Get multimedia guides when visiting the complex, especially if you are visiting with children.
2. Wear light clothing, especially during the summers.
3. Do not litter the complex. Carry a small bag to keep all your expendables in.
4. Read up as much as you can about the French war history. Exploring the museums becomes more fun when you are connected to information in advance