Les Invalides

Price guide: Mid-range

129 rue de Grenelle, Paris, 75007

Price guide: Mid-range

Les Invalides
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By Natasha Edwards, your Paris expert

I write for Conde Nast Traveller, Elle .... Read more
#5 of 30
expert-rated things to do in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.7 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Seasoned travellers, Education, History, Sightseeing

Best for History - Expert review of Les Invalides

Meeting point for two great megalomaniacs: Napoleon and Louis XIV.

Les Invalides is one of those places that is a little bit of everything: museums, mausoleum, Baroque church (or rather two), garden, hospital and architectural showcase. Built by Louis XIV as a grandiose gesture of munificence to retired and wounded soldiers (hence the name invalids) it is a grand ensemble of sculpted stone facades, arcaded courtyards, surrounded by cannons and topiaried bushes. The Eglise du Dôme – visible from all over Paris with its shiny gilding – contains the red porphyry tomb of Napoleon, surrounded by reliefs of his achievements as emperor, is a masterpiece of hagiography. Even the Musée de l'Armée can be taken on several levels from the swashbuckling appeal of suits of armour to powerful World War II film footage. The complex also contains the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, scale models of cities used to plot military strategy and the De Gaulle Historial.

Price advice: 

9 euros; free under 18s, and EU nationals under 26.

Expert tips: 
Les Invalides is accessible from several metro stations - Invalides, Varenne, La Tour Maubourg and Ecole Militaire.

More information on Les Invalides:

Price guide:
Architectural site, Museum, Religious site
129 rue de Grenelle, Paris, 75007
08 10 11 33 99
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Daily Apr-Sept 10am-6pm; Oct-Mar 10am-5pm; closed 1st Mon of the month.
Free tags / Keywords:
Art, History, Rainy days, Napoleon

Have you been to Les Invalides? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (1)

It's a fascinating place for anyone interested in military history