|Hôtel des Invalides|
Aerial view of Les Invalides
|Alternative names||Les Invalides, Musée de l'Armée|
|Type||Museum, church, hospital, retirement home, mausoleum|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Libéral Bruant, Jules Hardouin-Mansart|
Les Invalides (French pronunciation: [lezɛ̃valid] ), formally the Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris at a height of 107 meters, with the tombs of some of France's war heroes, most notably Napoleon.
The 7th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. In spoken French, this arrondissement is referred to as septième.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. The largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. The goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public.
Louis XIV initiated the project by an order dated 24 November 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. 196 metres (643 ft) and the complex had fifteen courtyards, the largest being the cour d'honneur ("court of honour") for military parades. It was then felt that the veterans required a chapel. Jules Hardouin-Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant's designs after the elder architect's death. This chapel was known as Église Saint-Louis des Invalides, and daily attendance of the veterans in the church services was required.The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The selected site was in the then suburban plain of Grenelle (plaine de Grenelle). By the time the enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.
Libéral Bruant, was a French architect best known as the designer of the Hôtel des Invalides, Paris, which is now dominated by the dome erected by Jules Hardouin Mansart, his collaborator in earlier stages of the construction. A comparison of Bruant's central entrance to the Invalides, under an arched cornice packed with military trophies with Mansart's Église du Dome, gives a clear idea of the difference between Bruant's High Baroque and Hardouin-Mansart's restrained and somewhat academic Late Baroque.
The Seine is a 777-kilometre-long (483 mi) river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre. It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60 percent of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats, and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the river banks in Paris, lined with top monuments including Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Musée d'Orsay.
Shortly after the veterans' chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature (see below). The domed chapel was finished in 1708.
Jules Hardouin-Mansart was a French Baroque architect and builder whose major work included the Place des Victoires (1684-1690); Place Vendôme (1690); the domed chapel of Les Invalides (1690), and the Grand Trianon of the Palace of Versailles. His monumental work was designed to glorify the reign of Louis XIV of France.
Pierre-Denis Martin was a French painter of historical subjects, battles, hunts, and architectural views, particularly of royal residences, such as the Palace of Versailles and the Château de Compiègne. He was also known as Martin the Younger or Martin des Gobelins.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The Bastille was a fortress in Paris, known formally as the Bastille Saint-Antoine. It played an important role in the internal conflicts of France and for most of its history was used as a state prison by the kings of France. It was stormed by a crowd on 14 July 1789, in the French Revolution, becoming an important symbol for the French Republican movement, and was later demolished and replaced by the Place de la Bastille.
Alfred Dreyfus was a French Jewish artillery officer whose trial and conviction in 1894 on charges of treason became one of the most tense political dramas in modern French history with a wide echo in all Europe. Known today as the Dreyfus affair, the incident eventually ended with Dreyfus's complete exoneration.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans (invalides) until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d'artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the musée historique des armées (Historical Museum of the Armies) in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l'armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.
Dome of Les Invalides
Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération
Institution nationale des Invalides
Gouverneur des Invalides
Gouverneur militaire de Paris
Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Libération
Office national des anciens combattants et victimes de guerre
On the north front of Les Invalides, Hardouin-Mansart's chapel dome is large enough to dominate the long façade, yet harmonizes with Bruant's door under an arched pediment. To the north, the courtyard (cour d'honneur) is extended by a wide public esplanade (Esplanade des Invalides) where the embassies of Austria and Finland are neighbors of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all forming one of the grand open spaces in the heart of Paris. At its far end, the Pont Alexandre III links this grand urbanistic axis with the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. The Pont des Invalides is next, downstream the Seine river.
The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city. It is classified as a French Monument historique since 1975.
The Petit Palais is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France.
The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, commonly known as the Grand Palais, is a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located at the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Construction of the Grand Palais began in 1897 following the demolition of the Palais de l'Industrie as part of the preparation works for the Universal Exposition of 1900, which also included the creation of the adjacent Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III. It has been listed since 2000 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The buildings still comprise the Institution Nationale des Invalides,a national institution for disabled war veterans. The institution comprises:
In 1676, Jules Hardouin-Mansart was commissioned to construct a place of worship on the site. He designed a building which combined a royal chapel (now Dôme des Invalides) with a veterans' chapel (now Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides). In this way, the King and his soldiers could attend mass simultaneously, while entering the place of worship though different entrances, as prescribed by court etiquette. This separation was reinforced in the 19th century with the erection of the tomb of Napoleon I, the creation of the two separate altars and then with the construction of a glass wall between the two chapels.
When the Army Museum at Les Invalides was founded in 1905, the veterans' chapel was placed under its administrative control. It is now the cathedral of the Diocese of the French Armed Forces, officially known as Cathédrale Saint-Louis-des-Invalides.
The Dôme des Invalides (originally Chapelle royale des Invalides) is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex, 107 metres (351 ft) high.
The dôme was designated to become Napoleon's funeral place by a law dated 10 June 1840. Ousted in 1815 by the allied armies, Napoleon had stayed so popular in France that Louis-Philippe, the King of France from 1830 to 1848, returned his "ashes" in 1840. (His "ashes" mean his "mortal remains"; Napoleon was not cremated.)The excavation and erection of the crypt, which heavily modified the interior of the domed church, took twenty years to complete and was finished in 1861.
Inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the original for all baroque domes, the Dôme des Invalides is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. Mansart raised its drum with an attic storey over its main cornice, and employed the paired columns motif in his more complicated rhythmic theme. The general programme is sculptural but tightly integrated, rich but balanced, consistently carried through, capping its vertical thrust firmly with a ribbed and hemispherical dome. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour.
The interior of the dome was painted by Le Brun's disciple Charles de La Fosse with a Baroque illusion of space (sotto in su) seen from below. The painting was completed in 1705.
The most notable tomb at Les Invalides is that of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). Napoleon was initially interred on Saint Helena, but King Louis Philippe arranged for his remains to be brought to France in 1840, an event known as le retour des cendres. Napoléon's remains were first buried in the Chapelle Saint-Jérôme in the Invalides until his final resting place, a tomb made of red quartzite and resting on a green granite base, was finished in 1861.
Some members of Napoleon's family, several military officers who served under him, and other French military heroes are also buried at Les Invalides:
The bodies of the following are interred in the vaults of the Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides(see images: 1, 2, 3, 4):
The hearts of the following are interred in the vaults of Les Invalides while the rest of their bodies are interred elsewhere:
Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the corners give the rectangular place Vendôme the aspect of an octagon. The original Vendôme Column at the centre of the square was erected by Napoleon I to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz; it was torn down on 16 May 1871, by decree of the Paris Commune, but subsequently re-erected and remains a prominent feature on the square today.
Jacques Lemercier was a French architect and engineer, one of the influential trio that included Louis Le Vau and François Mansart who formed the classicizing French Baroque manner, drawing from French traditions of the previous century and current Roman practice the fresh, essentially French synthesis associated with Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII.
The Musée de l'Armée is a national military museum of France located at Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is served by Paris Métro stations Invalides, Varenne, and La Tour-Maubourg.
The Place des Victoires is a circular place in Paris, located a short distance northeast from the Palais Royal and straddling the border between the 1st and the 2nd arrondissements. The Place des Victoires is at the confluence of six streets: Rue de la Feuillade, Rue Vide Gousset, Rue d'Aboukir, Rue Étienne Marcel, Rue Croix des Petits Champs, and Rue Catinat.
French Baroque architecture, sometimes called French classicism, was a style of architecture during the reigns of Louis XIII (1610–43), Louis XIV (1643–1715) and Louis XV (1715–74). It was preceded by French Renaissance architecture and Mannerism and was followed in the second half of the 18th century by Neo-classicism. The style was originally inspired by the Italian Baroque style, but, particularly under Louis XIV, it gave greater emphasis to regularity, the colossal order of facades, and the use of colonnades and cupolas, to symbolize the power and grandeur of the King. Notable examples of the style include the Grand Trianon of the Palace of Versailles, and the dome of Les Invalides in Paris. In the final years of Louis XIV and the reign of Louis XV, the colossal orders gradually disappeared, the style became lighter and saw the introduction of wrought iron decoration in rocaille designs. The period also saw the introduction of monumental urban squares in Paris and other cities, notably Place Vendôme and the Place de la Concorde. The style profoundly influenced 18th-century secular architecture throughout Europe; the Palace of Versailles and the French formal garden were copied by other courts all over Europe.
The Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a royal palace in the commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, in the département of Yvelines, about 19 km west of Paris, France. Today, it houses the musée d'Archéologie nationale.
The Church of Saint-Roch is a late Baroque 126 meter-long church in Paris, dedicated to Saint Roch. Located at 284 rue Saint-Honoré, in the 1st arrondissement, it was built between 1653 and 1740.
Faubourg Saint Germain is a historic district of Paris, France. The Faubourg has long been known as the favourite home of the French high nobility and hosts many aristocratic hôtels particuliers. It is currently part of the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
The retour des cendres was the return of the mortal remains of Napoleon I of France from the island of St Helena to France and their burial in the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris in 1840, on the initiative of Adolphe Thiers and King Louis-Philippe.
The Church of the Val-de-Grâce is a Roman Catholic church in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, in what is now the Val-de-Grâce Hospital. The edifice was formerly a royal abbey, and its dome is a principal landmark of the skyline of Paris. The church was initially designed by François Mansart, succeeded by Jacques Lemercier who designed the Saint-Sacrament chapel's spiral-coffered dome after Philibert de L'Orme's chapel at the Château d'Anet.
The Saint Helena Medal was the first French campaign medal. It was established in 1857 by a decree of emperor Napoleon III to recognise participation in the campaigns led by emperor Napoleon I.
The city of Paris has notable examples of architecture of every period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It was the birthplace of the Gothic style, and has important monuments of the French Renaissance, the Classical revival, and flamboyant style of the reign of Napoleon III; the Belle Époque, and the Art Nouveau style. The great Paris Universal Expositions of 1889 and 1900 added Paris landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais. In the 20th century, the Art Deco style of architecture first appeared in Paris, and Paris architects also influenced the postmodern architecture of the second half of the century.
The Paris ePrix is an annual race of the single-seater, electrically powered Formula E championship, held in Paris, France. It was first raced in the 2015-16 season.
The Circuit des Invalides is a street circuit located around Les Invalides in Paris, France. It is used for the Paris ePrix of the single-seater, electrically powered Formula E championship. Its was first used on 23 April 2016 for the 2016 Paris ePrix.
The Governor of Les Invalides is a French military personality and figure, named by the French Government to direct the institution of the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris.
The Style Louis XIV, also called French classicism, was the style of architecture and decorative arts intended to glorify King Louis XIV and his reign. It featured majesty, harmony and regularity. It became the official style during the reign of Louis XIV (1643–1715), imposed upon artists by the newly established Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture and the Académie royale d'architecture. It had an important influence upon the architecture of other European monarchs, from Frederick the Great of Prussia to Peter the Great of Russia. Major architects of the period included François Mansart, Jules Hardouin Mansart, Robert de Cotte, Pierre Le Muet, Charles Perrault, and Louis Le Vau. Major monuments included the Palace of Versailles, the Grand Trianon at Versailles, and the Church of Les Invalides (1675–91).
The Église Saint-Leu-Saint Gilles (Saint-Leu-la-Forêt) is a Roman Catholic church on the 'rue (street) Général Leclerc' in the French town of Saint-Leu-la-Forêt, about 14 kilometers north of Paris. Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III, the church houses the tomb of his father,Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, King of Holland, as well as those of his two brothers.
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