The Invalides — Where Paris History Comes Alive

posted by Sharon 36 Comments
Invalides Army Museum Paris

The Paris Invalides is a fascinating place where you can take in France’s military history going back about 200 years. The tall dome that crowns the Invalides is a landmark in the center of Paris. The Eiffel Tower rises behind a front yard that’s filled with shrubs and cannon. The Invalides is a chapel, an army museum, a hospital, and the final resting place of Napoleon I. You are sure to find something intriguing inside. Invalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum Paris

The Paris Invalides Artillery Courtyard

Once inside the museum complex, you come out into a courtyard with displays of guns, weapons, and a tank.  This is the Artillery Museum area, displaying years of French military history. Here is where ceremonies have taken place over the history of the Invalides. Invalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum Paris

 

Invalides Army Museum Paris

Invalides Army Museum ParisMy favorite artillery pieces are the squat little mortars and the beautifully designed French Classical Cannons. Invalides Army Museum Paris

Invalides Army Museum ParisHere’s a photo I found inside the museum showing the pomp and circumstance of soldiers of WWI and their military leaders in this very courtyard. Invalides Army Museum Paris

The Two World Wars

Exhibits fill the buildings around the courtyard. While some are here for a limited time, a permanent collection on World War I and World War II fills one wing of the museum. Dates in the floor help you keep track of the chronology of the displays.  A Renault battlefield taxi shines, showing none of the mud that would have covered it during WWI.Invalides Army Museum Paris

Invalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum Paris

The World War II collection includes maps, period photographs, a US Army soldier’s vest, and weaponry. Invalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum Paris

Finally, the war in Europe is over. Invalides Army Museum Paris

Invalides Army Museum ParisThe Tomb of Napoleon

Also part of the Invalides complex, the Cathedral of Saint-Louis is the final resting place of Emperor Napoleon I. Construction of the  chapel began in 1677. Most impressive from inside and out is the dome. Covered with gold outside, this dome is what can be seen for miles in central Paris. Inside, the chapel is ornate and elegant. We learned that during World War II, members of the resistance met in an enclosed floor up in the dome, undiscovered by the Nazis. Invalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum Paris

Invalides Army Museum ParisThe Invalides also has a hospital and retirement home for military veterans. The gardens help make this a peaceful place for the wounded and elderly. Invalides Army Museum ParisInvalides Army Museum Paris

The Invalides is a wonderful place to spend a short time or an entire afternoon. If you have young ones with you, the museum provides fun soldier’s hats. While you may want to skip the war displays, the grounds alone are a great place for little ones to explore. If you are a history buff, the Invalides will keep you coming back whenever you’re in Paris.

For more information and various ticket packages, visit the official website of the Invalides.

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36 Comments

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sallie rainville at

Beautiful buildings and grounds — and if we should ever be fortunate enough to travel to Paris, it would be on my list. (I would be one who probably wouldn’t place a war museum at the top of my itinerary, but I can see from this post that it is that and so much more!)

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Su-sieee! Mac at

I wondered if Invalides had anything to do with being invalid, as in sick or injured. Beautiful architecture. That’s interesting how the canons have ornate, and almost delicate, decorations.

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Leela at

Such beautiful photos! I love Paris 🙂

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Sandra at

I’m trying to remember whether or not I’ve been there – I was sure I had, but those photos don’t look familiar.
#MondayEscapes

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin at

That architecture is so amazing!

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Lydia C. Lee at

I spent 6 hours in there by accident one day – just so fascinating. La Foa’s breast plate just blew me away. There was also a pop up exhibition on the Resistance – just fascinating.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup at

Wow – it looks like you could easily spend days there and still not see everything!
Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/03/orchids-endless-source-of-beauty.html

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junie at

As always, lovely photos and interesting text, Sharon – and such a diversity of pics! Had to smile when I saw Napoleon’s tomb. People’s affections are fragile – they had him banned to an island at one time! Many thanks for sharing this super-interesting psot with All Seasons! Have a lovely week:)
PS thanks for visiting my new blog – I had forgotten that connections and comments go so slow in the first few months!

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Bryna | Dotted Line Travels at

The Invalides is one spot in Paris that I regret not visiting. I’m not sure why I chose to skip going there, but I wish I hadn’t as I really want to see Napoleon’s tomb in person. And now that I’ve learned about the significance of that dome, I’d love to see that too!

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Fun60 at

What excellent photos. That was an interesting fact about the hidden area in the dome. All i can remember from my visit many years ago was Napoleon’s coat which was so small.

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Esther at

Oh, I visited a long time ago and absolutely loved it. I think it was one of my favourite sights in Paris at the time. (Though it may have had something to do with me being hooked at the TV show Sharpe at the time, remember… the one with a young Sean Bean…)
#CityTripping

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California Globetrotter at

I’ve seen where Napoleon’s tomb but I haven’t seen the rest of the Invalides which now that I’m older and appreciate history more seems more appealing! Will have to revisit! #CityTripping

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Kelleyn Rothaermel at

I went to a museum similar to this in Spain a couple years ago it was really interesting. I not a big military fan, but it was still interesting to see all the different things that were housed in that museum.

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Milly Youngman at

Your photos are stunning – it’s really interesting to see parts of Paris that are lesser-talked-about than the HUGE NAME tourist attractions too! #citytripping

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Lady Fi at

What lovely shots.

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Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels at

gorgeous photos;) I remember seeing Napoleon’s tomb #citytripping

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Marie-OR at

So amazing Sharon! Wow! Gorgeous photos! How I would love to go. My husband would love this museum!

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Photo Cache at

A side of Paris we don’t often see on blogs. Thanks.

Worth a Thousand Words

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Sarah at

I never heard of this site in Paris before, although I’ve been to Paris twice! It was really interesting to learn about, thanks for sharing! And beautiful photos 🙂

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Amanda M at

What an awesome adventure! That place looks amazing <3

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Emma Raphael at

What beautiful pictures, and such a fascinating history. I need to revisit Paris soon, it’s been too long! Will be visiting this place now! #citytripping

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Dorothy at

We had visited Les Invalides and had spent a good two hours in the war museum. Your photos captured it well.

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Hilary at

For some reason I still have yet to visit this place, which I can see from your post is right up my alley and so worth my time! I’m definitely putting it high on my list the next time I find myself in Paris! #farawayfile

P.S. I like your pin badge!

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Cathy (Mummytravels) at

Such a beautiful building – I remember visiting lon g ago to see Napoleon’s tomb but hadn’t realised it was still home to injured soldiers. So much to see with the museum as well. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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Shona at

I’ve been to Paris quite a lot but never come across The Invalides. Beautiful grounds for the injured and elderly to enjoy along with visitors. Next time I’ll have a look for sure.

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Lisa at

It’s been way too long since I’ve been to Paris. I definitely need to visit again and check ut all its historical sites!

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Jenn | By Land and Sea at

Heading to Paris later this spring and will need to check out some of these spots! Saving this for later!

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Cheryl at

Beautiful photos! This looks so interesting. I love any kind of history. I’ve been to several US battlefields and they are all amazing. Not quite and opulent as France! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Have a great weekend. #TheWeeklyPostcard #FeetDoTravel

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Travel Lexx at

There is an incredible amount of history in Paris – love your photos and I definitely need to spend more time in this area of the city – loved reading about all the history of Invalides!

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Angie (FeetDoTravel) at

There is so much history in Paris that isn’t always known, I think a trip to the Invalides would be the perfect place to visit for history buffs! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. #feetdotravel

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Alex - My Life Long Holiday at

You can see why they hold the ceremonies in the courtyard – it’s just so gorgeous! I’ve never been inside this museum so thanks for the tour, I shall have to add it to my list for the next visit. #farawayflies

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Karen at

The architecture is amazing and I love how they give little ones hats. It’s defiantly somewhere I’d love to visit in the future. #MondayEscapes

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Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) at

How fascinating the “Invalides” is in Paris and can not believe I missed it my two trips there. The history is amazing with the photos and the grounds. I pinned this for later use. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

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betty - NZ at

What a wonderful place to learn a bit of history! I would have such fun spending hours there.

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Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) at

We loved Les Invalides but were not prepared for how much there is to see! We loved the exhibition of armor, from the Medieval Ages up to and including that of the Sun King as a child – even then, little Louis had extravagant taste! 😉 It was fascinating to see such meticulous work on some of the armor, obviously made as much to impress in court as to protect on the battlefield. We also loved the Cafe Angelina in the courtyard – what a great spot to relax and soak in that history. Great post!

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Vicky (Spud on the Run) at

I’ve been to Paris, but never here! I’ve pinned this post for when I return, the Invalides sounds really interesting! Your photos also make it look beautiful! Thanks for sharing with #feetdotravel

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