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Les Invalides


Front facade of Les Invalides in Paris


'Les Invalides' is actually a shortened form of “Hôpital des Invalides” as this complex of buildings was originally constructed during the second half of the 17th century as a military hospital for wounded and disabled soldiers. Like a lot of views of the buildings and monuments of Paris, depending on where you are standing 'Les Invalides' can trick you into believing it is of a certain design and then from another it is quite different. The top photograph is viewing the buildings from the front with the dome of the 'Dóme des Invalides' appearing to be part of the grand facade when in fact it is quite a distance away...as can be seen fro this aerial view from the Official website.


Ariel view of Les Invalides in Paris


Within this large complex you will find :


 Musée de l'Armée, France's military museum, which if you have a lot of time to kill on a rainy day or are a military enthusiast is well worth a visit - it's huge - nearly 100,000 exhibits. It is the result of a merger of the Artillery Museum and the Historical Army museum and has gained international recognition. The museum covers the period from late middle ages up to the Second World War, so there is much to see.


Suits of armour within the military museum in Les Invalides in Paris


Our own favourite part is the great display of armour not only for the knights but for their horses as well...


Horse armour within the military museum in Les Invalides in Paris


...but there should be something  for everyone, remember to give yourself plenty of time - if you wanted to see everything you would need as much as four hours.


(Photo: Luc Boegly © Musée de l'Armée, Paris)


Although manly static displays the museum has tried to modernise its exhibitions over the years with relative degrees of success.


Official website


Musée des Plans-Reliefs


Located within the Hôtel des Invalides, access is via the west wing, you have to climb up to the 4th floor. The collection is kept in a dark, climate-controlled room that runs pretty much the length of the courtyard. The museum is home to a unique collection of  historic relief-map models. These models are formerly classified relief map models of French fortifications along the Atlantic coast, the Pyrenees, and the Mediterranean. They are from the 17th century and were an early form of 'Google Earth' giving a three dimensional view some of the country's fortified towns and cities.


Probably only for real enthusiasts the museum entrance is included in your entry ticket.  


Visit website here


Model forts at the Musée des Plans-Reliefs in Paris


 The dome of Napolean's tomb behind Les Invalides

There's that dome again in the background - housing Napoleon's Tomb


The church of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides


The church  which can be accessed from the central courtyard, was known as the pensioners' Choir but later became 'the Soldiers' church'. Soldiers in the hospital were required to attend the daily mass there.


The church of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides


The church is connected directly with the Royal chapel, better known as the Dôme des Invalides, separated now by a glass wall. This is where the Royals would attend mass before it was modified to become 'Napoleon's Tomb'


The courtuard within Les Invalides

Tip:  If time is limited, you can check out the central courtyard as they only charge and check tickets inside the museum, so you could enjoy the architecture and this part of the experience for free.  


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Les Invalides - Military Museum

12 Rue de Grenelle

75007 PARIS


7th arrondissemont


Official website


The Museum is open every day.

1 April to 31 October: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm

1 November to 31 March: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm     


Check out 'exceptions here


Full price: € 9.00

Reduced price: € 7.00


 La Tour-Mabourg  



  Check locations on map here


 Line C - Invalides


View map with bus stops here




View Larger Map




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