[summer with the eaters] paris pt.3.2 — les invalides

20.07.2010

Les Invalides (official name:  L’Hôtel national des Invalides) is a complex of buildings relating to the military history of France. Louis XIV initiated the complex in 1670 as a home and hospital for wounded soldiers.

Anyway, since France had just celebrated their national day (14 July), there was this exhibition about wars and French soldiers and weaponry and such alike (well the ex-hospital is now the military museum of the Army of France), which I had no interest whatsoever (hmm, I think I have become a pacifist).

Actually, our main destination was to see Napoleon’s tomb, kept in a chapel behind the museum. The Hardouin-Mansart’s chapel dome slightly reminded me of St. Paul’s Cathedral, in a more gold-y version.

The Napoleon tomb (or the coffin, I must say) was located in the middle of the chapel, right underneath the big dome. The coffin was incredibly huge, rather oversized for the my-fellow-shorty Napoleon. Visitors could see the coffin from either the ground floor, or took one more floor down (-1). There were statues of Greek Goddesses and carvings about the glory of Emperor Napoleon.

On the wings of the building, there were coffins of French military heroes, and also Napoleon’s family  and several military officers served under him.

We then went to the sunny outside, which was, uhm, a bit too sunny.

It was burning hot. So we bought an ice cream, took some pics, then walked to the nearest metro station.

ps: some other photos that I like: 

all photos taken from les invalides can be found here

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