The Dôme des Invalides is where you will find the tomb of Napolean I. This one-time hospital for wounded soldiers is a fantastic museum these days.
What you need to know about Les Invalides
City: Paris, France.
Transport links: Varenne (Metro Line 13 - Aquamarine Blue), Ecole Militaire (Metro Line 8 - Light Purple)
Access: Tickets for Les Invalides cost €12 which will include access to the the Dome Church, Tomb of Napoleon, the Saint-Louis Cathedral, the Charles de Gaulle Monument, the temporary exhibition, the Museum of Relief Maps and the Museum of the Order of the Liberation.
Fact: The original Hôtel des Invalides was built in the late 17th century by Louis XIV to provide wounded servicemen with a place to heal, be cared for and as a place for general convalescence.
The evolution of Hôtel des Invalides
After serving as the place of care for wounded soldiers from the 17th century onwards, and standing as a marvellous example of Baroque period architecture, the Hôtel des Invalides developed into a collection of museums dedicated to educating the public about the history of the French military.
Spread about the complex you will find the Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum), Musée des Plans-Reliefs (Museum of Military Models) and Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History).
With each housing a distinct set of exhibits and pieces of French history, they are all worth visiting and taking the time to digest the information and knowledge offered. Certainly if you have an interest in European history then the fact that France is inescapably weaved throughout the last few centuries as a major player will make the exhibits worth a good viewing.
The other main attraction at Les Invalides is the Tomb of one of France's most famous sons; Napoleon I.
The Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum)
Here you will find a huge collection of over half a million items ranging from uniforms, weapons and historic literature, as well as thousands of incidental pieces that are fascinating.
You will navigate through seven distinct areas within the 12,000 square metre museum that will chronicle periods from French military history, culminating in World War II.
Musée des Plans-Reliefs (Museum of Military Models)
This museum provides insight into what fortified cities from yesteryear looked like. Through a series of three-dimensional models that were originally used as tools of military planning, nowadays they serve as educational tools that give a glimpse into how city fortification for military purposes actually took place way back when as conflict was either likely or had already broken out.
Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History)
This is the jewel of the museum options and the Globedge recommendation above all other areas. With a staggering collection of over one million items in its collection it is a brilliant place to learn about the social and political events and movements, as well as their effects on French society over the past 150 years.
Les Invalides main attraction is the Tomb of Napoleon I
You will naturally see a large church complex within Les Invalides known as the Dôme des Invalides. This is where you will find the tombs of a number of war heroes and key figures from France's military history.
The most famous of all those who rest there is France's most successful military general, Napoleon Bonaparte. His family members who served in various positions of state also rest there.
Throughout his tomb will be able to see a number of marble displays that celebrate and champion many of Napoleon's greatest victories. At the centre is where you will see the red stone sarcophagus of Napoleon himself.
Again, if you are at all interested in military history or the history of France in general, it is worth including Les Invalides on your list of thing to see in Paris when you travel there.