Les Invalides with the Tomb of Napoleon and its impressive museums in Paris

The Hotel National des Invalides is perhaps more well known as simply Les Invalides, and is just one of the many great monuments in Paris which you can find around. Originally thought of in 1670 by King Louis XIV for a place to hold war veterans which were no longer able to fight for the country.

This place is a fantastic place to go to if you are interested in history, and especially military history in particular, with a very rich history of Les Invalides but also having the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte I as well.


To expand on the Tomb of Napoleon, as most people know who Napoleon is, and was, a major part of history and still is, being taught throughout schools of his influence throughout French military history. And some twenty years after the man’s death his remains were brought upstream along the River Seine to Paris.

Once his remains were there he had a state funeral which ventured through Paris and paused briefly at the Arc de Triomphe which was built to the commands of himself, from there it went down the Champs Elysees avenue and eventually to the Hotel des Invalides, where he now rests within the military building and the Eglise du Dome church.

But incredible architecture, church and Tomb of Napoleon is not all that this tourist attractions in Paris has to offer.

In fact it can boast that it has the largest single collection and complex in comparison to any other monument throughout the capital city, most well known for the military exhibitions but also an amazing three different museums you can visit, as well as the unique collections held at the Hotel National des Invalides.

To begin you firstly have the Musee des Plans Reliefs which is a museum dedicated to three dimensional models of forts, towns and regions of France produced by the military.

Incredibly there are only 100 of these models in existence now and with some of them held at the Beau-Arts Museum in the region Nord Pas de Calais, yet most of them are held at Les Invalides since the 1700’s when they were moved from the Louvre Museum.

The large scale models on display have become a great insight for architectural history to see how it was in the past to how things have changed since then, some of the model plans dating back to 1668, making for a very intriguing collection.

Another museum, the Musee de l’Ordre de la Liberation is a French museum in Paris dedicated to those who came together during World War II at the core of the Resistance movement.

Musee de l’Ordre de la Liberation focuses on many different documents, letters, postcards, souvenirs, personal letters, artefacts and even uniforms which were used during the war. The museum is split down into three sections; Free France gallery, Resistance and Hall of Honour which is dedicated to General de Gaulle. Making this museum another interesting yet intriguing place to visit to understand the war and what those times were like.

The third museum is no other than the well known Musee de l’Armee which is one of the more conclusive and amazing military history museums in the world with exhibitions featuring everything right back to the Middle Ages.

Holding various types of armour, arms, uniforms and much more, anyone with a slight interest should have the Musee de l’Armee army museum as one on their list to visit. But not forgetting the cannons from the French artillery, hunting weapons, firearms, knives and much more to be impressed with when you visit while on holiday in Paris.

But even if the museum holds the third largest collection of antique armour in the world it is still very interactive with touch screens to hand and a whole section with commentaries related to Charles de Gaulle.

In addition to all of that there is also a theatre at Les Invalides which projects a whole century, starting from the Edwardian period through to the pop years which include many famous and loved people including that of Charlie Chaplin. As well as having audio guides in eight different languages.

The Hotel National des Invalides is open every day except for the first Monday in a month and the interactive area with Charles de Gaulle is also closed each Monday, as well as obviously being closed for national French holidays. Les Invalides opens from 10am through to 5pm, and during the summer months of April to the end of September it has an extra hour until 6pm.

The ticket office being found near the south entrance near the Eglise du Dome and the Tomb of Napoleon as well as at the north entrance near Cour d’Honneur which is also noticeable by the cannons.

A ticket allows you to see everything as said above as well as the chance to visit the gift shop, a book shop with many various books to chose from, a cafeteria if you want a break and the free audio guide provided for the interactive section when you visit this monument in Paris and its museums while on holiday in Paris, making a very informational yet interesting tourist attraction to visit.