Les Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids)

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  • The wolf sees everything

    It's somewhere in the Cour d'honneur, above a skylight. A wolf, a wolf that sees everything, which translate in french as "le loup voit" and refers to François de Louvois, King Louis XIV's Secretary of War, who found a way to be remembered by leaving his mark on the building. Now you only have to find the sculpture.

The place

This most famous parisian monument was decided by king Louis XIV en 1670, and was (and still is) used as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans and disabled ex-serviceman. Nowadays, the building also houses the Musée de l'Armée, among others museums, and the remains of Napoléon Ier.

Libéral Bruant was in charge of the construction of the complex, apart form the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides church which is due to Jules Hardouin-Mansart. This church was raised to cathedral status, and had direct communication with the neighbouring royal chapel knowns as the "Dôme des Invalides".

"Les Invalides" entered its golden age during the first French Empire, and Napoléon Ier was remembered here as a military hero. In the Cour d'honneur is the emperor's statue that was initally raised on top of the Place Vendôme's column in 1833, and in the Dôme are entombed Napoléon's remains (the monument, finished in 1861, is by architect Louis Visconti).

But it's also possibe, through the Corridor de Nîmes, to observe the original tombstone of Napoléon at Saint Helena, which was brough back with the remains. The tombstone is at the west of the church, in a little outside thicket.

More info
  • Opening hours - Monday to sunday 10am-6pm (April 1st to October 31) or 5pm (November 1st to Mars 31)
  • Prices - Full price : 9,5 euros - Reduced price : 7,5 euros
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