The Hôtel des Invalides of Paris!!!

I like to re write almost new text and updated links with older pictures on this wonderful monument of Paris, France. I have written before in my blog on the church, this time will do the building,the institution itself so what about the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris!!!

In my walks of Paris I come to see many nice buildings, some I passed by and at first do not even know what they are, so many gorgeous architecture. However ,the Invalides has always caught my eyes. It was near my old HQ office so even visiting now takes extra time around there. Of course, I am talking about the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris. I like to tell you a bit about the history I like on the invalides.

Paris hotel des invalides and dome st lous church behind c1995

The Hôtel des Invalides  was ordered by king Louis XIV in 1670 to house the wounded soldiers of his armies.  Today, it is still with the same functions but also the Cathedral Saint-Louis des Invalides (see post), several museums , and a military necropolis especially the tomb of emperor Napoléon Ier.  This huge architectural complex is one of the most important Classical style design in France, been the work of architect  Jules Hardouin-Mansart (Versailles and al fame).  Interesting to note, it takes the concept from the Monastery of El Escorial outside Madrid ( see post) ordered built by king Felipe II of Spain , but also takes ideas from other hospitals in Paris such as the Salpêtrière.

Paris invalides entr on the esplanade des invalides mar13

In 1659, after the treaty of the Pyrénées (marking the frontiers even today of France and Spain) ,king Louis XIV  took again the idea from Cardinal Richelieu that had done one in 1634 at the Château de Bicêtre  to take care of handicap soldiers under the commanderie Saint-Louis.  The project finally saw the light several years later by ordered of the king in 1670  to built a Hôpital/Hôtel des Invalides to the ageing military, wounded or inapt for war soldiers . The establishement works as a hospital and hospice, military barrack, and convent is all exempted from taxes and administered by a governor.  The soldiers are cure with funds coming from the revenue of the parishes and abbeys starting in 1676; the building was not fully completed until August 28 1706, when the keys of the hotel was given to the sun king Louis XIV.

The Hôtel des Invalides also has museums such as the army museum or musée de l’artillerie est. 1872, army history museum or musée historique des armées ,est. 1896, and both united in 1905 as the army museum or musée de l’armée. The Church is link directly to the Royal Chapel better known as the Dôme des Invalides.  This Chapel with the Dome has a large lantern of 107 meters high that was used only by the Royal family. Finally, the dome is cover completely in gold in a gothic style.  It is a square pavilion facing the street at decorated angles of columns where there are statues and has an obelisk finished by a Cross on top.  The construction of the dome was finished in 1708.  The dome was renovated in gold in 1807, 1830, 1839, 1937 , and lastly in 1989, needing 12 kg of gold or about 26 pounds. It has two cupolas in stone with two scenic drawings decorated with several Saints and a large one representing  Saint Louis  in its mantle of Royal ermine ( fleur de lys=Lilys) giving his sword to Jésus-Christ in person surrounded by musical angels.

Paris invalides esp de l'invalides canons mus armee et eiffel mar13

Since 1861, under the dome and its cupolas rest in peace the so called emperor Napoléon Ier inside six coffins follow by a sarcophagus of red quartz in a open sky crypt in the center of the building.  The choir of the Cathedral of  Saint-Louis (see post) is the only one in France of all its Churches and Cathedrals that has a permanent French flag. In December 1940, the ashes of his son known as the king of Rome or Napoléon II or the Aiglon (English) were transfered from Vienna in a funerary urn by an adviser to Hitler and the govt of Vichy (collaborator) as Paris was in occupied zone.  Here lies as well the remains of brothers Joseph and Jérome Bonaparte as well as the queen of Westphalia and other members of the Bonaparte family. Other commanders of the Great War (WWI) and WWII are also here such as marshals of France Ferdinand Foch, Hubert Lyautey, Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Alphonse Juin, , the generals Robert Nivelle, Charles Mangin, Pierre Auguste Roques, and Henri Giraud, and the admirals Boué de Lapeyrère ,and Gauchet.

I have come here by car and even eaten across the street (see post) on the Café de l’Esplanade. Also, you can do it by public transports such as metro Invalides lines 8 and 13 , Varenne line 13 or La Tour-Maubourg line 8. The Hôtel des Invalides is in the neighborhood or quartier of Gros Caillou, and  the 7éme arrondissement or district.

The official webpage of the Army museum

The formalities to entered the Hôtel des Invalides as a resident patient in French:

The Paris tourist office on the Hôtel des Invalides:

Hope you have enjoy this brief tour of history at the huge Hôtel des Invalides of Paris , one of the great French institutions that goes beyond into the veins of the French. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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