This monument (access is free) was built in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV and is today, with its golden cupola, a landmark in Paris
The original purpose was to build a “royal home and hospital big enough to house all aged and unwell officers and soldiers and to ensure sufficient funds for their subsistence and care” which explains its name Hôtel des Invalides. But behind these fine words hides another truth: the King being a real war lover, he couldn’t stand the vision of cripples all over the capital who would harm his reputation. Being also a good strategist, the Invalides helped him hide these “wretches”, but also to offer them a home and food.
Today, under the Ministry of Defence but also occupied by numerous organizations, the Hôtel National des Invalides still retains its original function as a hospital and hospice for badly injured and disabled war veterans. As well as the Musée de l’Armée, it comprises the Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération as two churches: the Eglise du Dôme, which houses the tomb of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (the main attraction today) and the Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides.
Opening hours: 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Full rate: 11 € – 12€
Metro: Line 8: La Tour-Maubourg