The Army museum of Paris!

Hello Paris, here I am ! cooler temps are coming tonite on All Saint’s Day (Toussaints) Nov 1st. I have my four day weekend lock up lol! In my belle France, let me tell you about another of its most important institutions, the Army Museum.

I have been here on a tour with business collegues many years back,and then came with the family but mostly we walk the beat and eaten in restos just around the corner in the Esplanade des Invalides.  Like the Café de l’Esplanade! I like to tell you the history of this venerable institution.

The musée de l’armée or Army Museum is a military museum located in the Hotel des Invalides in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. This museum is served by the metro Invalides (line 13) and La Tour-Maubourg (line 8).Bus 93 leaves you close.  The museum was created in 1905 by the merger of the Artillery Museum and the Historical Army Museum, both of which were already located in the Invalides .

Below is the old version.

The Artillery museum was created under the French revolution and was installed at the Invalides in 1871. It was formed on two weapons collections: the collection of the Crown and the collection of princes of Condé. There were funds coming from the Louvre, the artillery of Vincennes, the Château de Pierrefonds and the acquisitions or donations. The Historical Army Museum was created in 1896 by the private company La Sabretache. The painter Édouard Detaille, who presided over it, owned his own collections and wanted to create a military museum similar to the retrospective halls of the Universal Exhibition of Paris of 1889.

The Arms and Armor section, which included the Joffre Gallery (fortifications and trenches), the Kléber Room (Oriental collections), the Massena Room (infantry), the Richelieu room (luxury weapons), the Douay Room (colonial infantry and armaments The Salle Murat (cavalry), the Salle Margueritte (cavalry of Africa, artillery and harnessing), the Salle Gribeauval (artillery), the gallery Pétain (Memories of the Great War (WWI), flags taken from the Germans) and the Galerie Foch (momentos of the allied armies). The Historical section, which included the Turenne hall or flag room (there were more than 700 flags or banners); La Salle Bugeaud (detailed collection: paintings, military costumes, weapons), the Salle Louis XIV (costumes and souvenirs of the former monarchy) The Napoleon Hall, La Fayette Hall, the Aumale Hall (colonial campaigns), the Mac Mahon Hall (Wars of 1825 – 1870), the Salle Chanzy (1870 – 1914), the Hall of Medals, the Salle Charlemagne (collection of Greek and Roman uniforms and Gauls), the salle of Assas, and La Salle la Tour d’Auvergne.

From the year 2000 an important renovation plan with the old weapons and armors department reopened in 2005, the Department of the two World Wars, between 2003 and 2006 and the modern department (from Louis XIV to Napoleon III) which opened its doors in 2010.   The Charles de Gaulle Historial, commissioned by the Charles de Gaulle Museum and Foundation, was inaugurated in February 2008. In 2015, the Museum of the Order of Liberation was totally rehabilitated and the museography completely redesigned. By 2015 opened a new permanent section within the museum, the unusual cabinets, consecrated in a first part to the military figurines including 5 000 small soldiers of cardbox, lead, tin and plastic models on a total of estimated 140 000: Artillery , which is one of the most important collections in the world, comprising 1 000 pieces from the 16C to the 19C and another part of the military musical instruments, selected from the 350 of the collection and the 30 deposited by the Museum of Music. In 2016, the Army museum launched a participatory financing operation with the aim of restoring ViZIER, the only naturalized horse of Napoleon I, who was exposed since 1904 in the modern department (from Louis XIV to Napoleon III). After a month of restoration,in 2015, the mounted horse has regained its original location in a new controlled atmosphere showcase to better preserve it.

The new version to follow:  Currently the Army museum is set up as such: The Museum extends on the east and west wings around the cour d’Honneur of the Invalides and on a wing to the west of the Church of St. Louis and the Historial de Gaulle, an underground construction under the cour de la Valeur (courtyard).

The museum today includes:

The ancient department, weapons and armors old 13C-17C, whose collection is the 3rd largest in the world, exhibited on 2 500 m2; the modern department, covering the period of Louis XIV to Napoleon III, period 1643 – 1870; the contemporary department, the two World Wars, period from 1871 to 1945; the Historial Charles-de-Gaulle, a multimedia space of 2 500 m2 which traces the life and work of Charles de Gaulle, mainly with audiovisual documents; the unusual cabinets, including a part on the old figurines and models of artillery pieces, and another part on the musical military instruments

Thematic departments:   The department of Paintings and Sculptures, Office of prints, drawings and photography. Research sites: The library, created in 1905 and restored in recent years; The photo library.

The Dome Church of Saint Louis.  Under the responsibility of the museum, it houses the burial of Napoleon I, his two brothers, his son (the Aiglon), the Marshals Vauban and Turenne, and the most recent of the Marshals Foch and Lyautey.

Two other museums are attached to the Army Museum:

The Museum of miniature models, (musée des Plansreliefs) consisting of models of fortified cities that trace 200 years of history and military strategies. It depends on the Ministry of Culture;

The Museum of the Order of Liberation, (musée de l’ordre de la Libération )created in 1967 and then renovated between 2012 and 2016, it is devoted to the order founded by de Gaulle in 1940 and to the Companions of the liberation. The collections are divided into three parts: free France, inner resistance and deportation.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit to the museum and it will have to be in your plans at least once, are

Official Army Museum

Tourist office of Paris on the Army Museum

Another view of my eternal Paris, so much to see its overwhelming, and this is just Paris. We heard or read the Movable Feast by Hemingway but I always though he was short, a second volume was in order, France is a movable feast!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “The Army museum of Paris!”

  1. I would like to visit the Army Museum for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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