Musée de l’Armée of Paris!!

Well here I am back at you with gorgeous beautiful awesome Paris. Of course in the Ïle de France region dept and city no 75 and in my belle France. And again, I must repeat, written on some of it before, but this is new text and photo even if older dated. I can sometime get carry away from the excitement of visitors/expats etc and just recount the main monuments or places to see in Paris. However, there are always little things that are overlook and I for one lover of architecture and history need to be back as it is huge with plenty to tell; take this post as an introduction to the Army Museum!

This is the case of a huge complex better known as the Invalides ,but I like even more the Army museum or Musée de l’Armée. And this one will like to tell you its history and what can be seein inside. Hope you enjoy it.

The Musée de l’Armée is located in the Hôtel National des Invalides in the 7éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The Musée de l’Armée is a history museum whose vocation is to present the history of conflicts through the prism of the military history of France. Access is now only via 129 rue de Grenelle as long as sanitary conditions require it. This museum is served by the Invalides metro lines 8 and 13, Varenne line 13 ,and La Tour-Maubourg line 8. Also RER C invalides, and Bus lines my favorites as there are others are lines  28, 82, 87, 92 and 93.

Paris mus armee entr mar13

The museum was created in 1905 by the merger of the Artillery Museum and the Army Historical Museum, both of which were already located in the Hôtel des Invalides. At the time, the collections were then installed and divided into two sections: 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 foreigners), the Murat room (cavalry), the Margueritte room (African cavalry, artillery and harness), the Gribeauval room (artillery), the Pétain gallery (Souvenirs of the Great War, flags taken from the Germans) and the Foch gallery (memories of the allied armies). And the Historical Section, which included the Turenne room or “flag room” (there were over 700 flags or banners); the Bugeaud room (Detailed collection: paintings, military costumes, weapons), the Louis XIV room (costumes and souvenirs from the former monarchy), the Napoleon room, the La Fayette room, the Aumale room (colonial campaigns), the Mac Mahon room (wars from 1825 to 1870), Chanzy room (1870 to 1914), medals room, Charlemagne room (collection of Greek and Roman uniforms and of the Gauls), Assas room, La Tour d’Auvergne room.

paris mus armee canons et eiffel mar13

There has been a huge program of renovation that is known by the words ATHENA since 1994, the museum underwent various arrangements . Other museums too such as The historial Charles-de-Gaulle, the Museum of the Order of the Liberation has been completely rehabilitated a new permanent section within the museum, the Cabinets Unusual, devoted in a first part to military figurines and artillery models: one of the most important collections in the world and in another part to military musical instruments. The army museum occupies the east and west wings around the courtyard of the Invalides as well as a wing to the west of the Saint-Louis Church and the historial de Charles de Gaulle, an underground construction under the courtyard of values.

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 Musée de l’Armée or Army museum joined the Fondation Napoléon to renovate the tomb of Napoleon I in the Invalides, as well as those of his brothers buried near the Emperor, under the famous dome.  The famous sarcophagus of the Emperor, in red quartzite, is rather well preserved but this is not the case of the soils that support it. The stone, enamel and marble marquetry soils were damaged by time and the stone falls from the dome.

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). What you can see today:

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 is 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; and 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.

Further renovations are in orders such as by 2024, the reception areas and temporary exhibitions will be reconfigured with the creation of places dedicated to the history of the site, as well as the news of French military engagements; while a new reserve building will be built in the suburbs. The second part will start in 2025 and will concern the creation of two new courses devoted to the history of colonization and decolonization from the 16C to the 1960s, as well as to the military history of the post-1945 period and to the Cold War until the period following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

So keep an eye for them, they will make for a whole new experience of visiting Paris and the Army museum! Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

The Official Army museum in English https://www.musee-armee.fr/en/english-version.html

The Paris tourist office on the Army museum in English: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71520/Musee-de-l-Armee-Invalides

And now there you go folks, ready for it as I am. Looking forward to revisit this wonderful place ,where I spent many of my time in Paris in and out and about it. Hope you enjoy the post on the Army Museum alone!

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

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3 Comments to “Musée de l’Armée of Paris!!”

  1. Now, that is my kind of a museum!

    Liked by 1 person

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