Hotel des Invalides

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Lisa MacDonald on January 6, 2002

A short walk from the Rodin museum is the Hotel des Invalides, a home for wounded soldiers built under the orders of Louis XIV. It became more of a shrine to Napoléon and those he was close to, complete with a massive tomb containing the remains of Napoléon himself.

Napoleon is encased Russian doll style, in seven separate caskets made of various materials. I read a quote from a writer saying that some Parisians felt that the seven caskets were constructed to ensure he never gets out again. It's an obscenely large tomb (42 feet high) for a man of such small stature. Also buried in Invalides is his son (with the epitaph "King of Rome"), his brother, and assorted other military people that I know little about.

Les Invalides is interesting in its pomposity and grandeur, as another one of Napoléon's "over the top" monuments. Its massive gold dome is a stunning landmark seen from almost any vantage point in the city.

Les Invalides/L'Hôtel National des Invalides
Esplanade Des Invalides
Paris, France, 75007
+33 1 44 42 37 70

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