Hotel des Invalides, Paris
Address: Esplanade des Invalides, 75507
Hours: April – September 10:00am-6:00pm; October – March 10:00am-5:00pm; Closed first Monday of each month.
Tickets: 8EUR; reduced ticketes available but varied
WWW: Hotel des Invalides
Phone: 01 44 42 37 72
About the Hotel des Invalides
The Hotel des Invalides was home to thousands of war torn veterans for many years. Today it stands as a museum and a celebrated tomb of many infamous Frenchmen.
In the beginning, this massive structure wasn’t intended to be so… massive. Only several barracks were to be built. However, King Louis XIV, the Sun King himself, reneged on the original plans and choose the design by architect Liberal Bruant. The King fell in love with Bruant’s plans of an remarkable building, royal courtyard and beautiful church.
Completed in 1676, the structure faced the Seine with its glorious 196 meter length. It also featured 15 courtyards, the largest of which was used for military parades. Nearly 4,000 war veterans moved in immediately upon completion.
Soon after it was finished, King Louis XIV requested the church construction begin. Architect Jules Hardouin Mansart built the annex by following Bruant’s complex plans. First known as Pensioners’ Choir, the church opened in 1679. The name quickly changed to the Soldiers’ Church and soldiers that lived here were made to attend a daily mass.
The church was an annex and in connection with the Royal chapel, a section of the Hotel des Invalides that was exclusive to the royal family. To further specialize this part of the structure, the renown Dome des Invalides was erected in 1708. Plans to solely bury the deceased of the Royal family here were maintained until Louis-Phillipe turned it into a veteran’s cemetery as well and in 1840 had the remains of Emperor Napoleon moved there from St. Helena. Other notable militant buried here are Turenne, Vauban and Foch.
Today the Hotel des Invalides still stands as a brilliant structure, tomb to top military Frenchman and also plays home to three museums. The Musee de l’Armee is a military museum and rightfully so. It holds many objects from the Stone Age to World War II. The Musee des Plans-Reliefs is an architectural vault that houses military models of French fortresses and cities dating back to the 16th century. And last but certainly not least, the Musee de l’ordre de la Liberation is in dedication to the liberation of France during World War II and celebrates the leader of the time, Charles de Gaulle.
Getting to Hotel des Invalides
The Hotel des Invalides metro stations include Varenne Station via metro line 13 and La Tour Maubourg via metro line 8. Both stations are named after the streets on which they reside.
Des Invalides Hotels
Here is a short guide to hotels near Hotel des Invalides.
Located at 31 rue Vaneau, the three star Hotel de Suede Saint Germain is situated in the center of the residential district, which makes it a quiet yet ideal location. The classically designed hotel follows its settings ideas and features garden views, spacious rooms and comfortable seating areas throughout. Rates for a standard double/twin room start at 87EUR per night.
Located at 54 rue Saint Dominique, the two star Hotel Le Pavillion offers a welcoming and affordable stay for budget conscious travelers. Its charm lies within its warm staff and cozy Parisian atmosphere. Its fantastic location is no more than 15 minutes from many wonderful attractions such as Hotel des Invalides, the Eiffel Tower and Musee d’Orsay. Rates start at 64EUR for a single room per night.
Located at 16 Avenue de Tourville, the four star Hotel Tourville is filled with warm colors so that guests can snuggle up in a homely atmosphere after a long day at nearby attractions including the Hotel des Invalides, Eiffel Tower and military academy. Rates for this knockout hotel start at 122EUR for a two person standard room per night.
Photo of Hotel des Invalides Royal Church courtesy of Wikimedia.org
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