Les Invalides in Paris - one of the largest buildings in Europe
Location show on map
129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France
Date of build
1671 - 1706
- Other building names: Musée de l'Armée
- Building type: Church, Museum
- Architectural style: Classicism
Height: 107 metres
- Area: 13 hectares
- Architect: Libéral Bruant, Jules Hardouin-Mansart
Les Invalides is a monumental complex of buildings located in Paris, France. It was built in the 17th century as a residence for invalids and soldiers who were wounded in wars and needed medical care and shelter. Today, it is one of the most important monuments in Paris, and its complex architecture and rich history attract thousands of tourists every year.
The history of the construction of Les Invalides dates back to the 17th century, when King Louis XIV decided that a complex of buildings would be built to house wounded and ailing soldiers. Construction began in 1671 and lasted almost 20 years.
In 1676, construction of a church began in part of the complex, called the Dôme des Invalides, which was to be the resting place of King Louis XIV and his family. Other important French leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte are also buried in the church.
Les Invalides consists of several buildings, the most important of which is the Dôme des Invalides, which was built on the model of the Saint-Pierre church in Rome. It is a monumental building that is approximately 107 metres long, 48 metres wide and over 107 metres high.
This distinctive dome, is the focal point of the complex. It was built between 1677 and 1706 and contains many interesting architectural elements such as decorative columns, sculptures and frescoes.
Les Invalides is one of the largest buildings in Paris. During the 17th century, when it was built, it was the largest building in Europe.
Inside the church there are many sculptures and paintings, as well as inscriptions from different periods in French history. The most important part of the church is Napoleon's tomb, which is located right in the centre.
Another important building on the grounds of Les Invalides is the Military Museum, which is housed in the former arsenal. This museum has a very rich collection related to the history of France and the wars in which it took part. Among the exhibits are weapons, uniforms, maps and military models.
In addition to the church and museum, Les Invalides also consists of several residential buildings where wounded soldiers lived and were treated. Among them is a building called the Cour d'Honneur, which was the main part of the complex. It is a monumental building, consisting of three floors and has many windows and balconies.
Another interesting fact about Les Invalides is that for many years the building complex was also a production site for arms and munitions for the French army. In the 19th century, Les Invalides also began to produce cannons and guns that were used in the World War.
In 1918, a hospital was opened on the Les Invalides complex to care for wounded war soldiers.
Another interesting fact about Les Invalides is that in 1905, the first presentation of a car in French history, specifically the Renault brand, took place on its premises. This presentation was organised by the company's founder, Louis Renault, who invited important French politicians and military representatives to attend.
In 1940, during the German occupation of Paris, the complex was turned into a military warehouse and the Germans placed their anti-aircraft guns inside the Dôme des Invalides church.
In 1944, during the liberation of Paris, the complex was damaged by bombing, but was rebuilt in the 1950s.
Les Invalides is an example of French classicism, whose characteristic elements are symmetry, proportion and harmony.
It is one of the most important monuments in Paris and attracts many tourists from all over the world. It is visited by around 3 million people a year.
Official website: https://www.musee-armee.fr/
- Museum and exhibition entrance ticket:
- Normal: €14.
- Reduced: €11.
- Free for children under 18 years of age life and selected groups.
- Daily from 10am to 6pm (until 9pm on Tuesdays).
- Closed on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.
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