The Invalides of Paris

The Invalides of Paris
The Invalides of Paris

This is one of the most significant monuments for its historical value in Paris. But also aesthetically, artistically and urbanistically it is a milestone in the French capital. Especially for its great golden dome that rises up to 100 meters high and is visible from many streets and corners of the Parisian center.

Although it may seem like a church because of that gigantic dome, the truth is that Los Inválidos is much more than a temple. In fact, its official name is Hôtel National des Invalides, since it was built as a large residence to house homeless soldiers who had been wounded in combat or had retired from the army after over a decade of service.

Invalids. overview

The Invalids. Overview

This residential complex was promoted by King Louis XIV who commissioned the architect Liberal Bruand to design the project in 1671. Yes Well, a large part of its execution was carried out by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, one of the monarch's favorite architects since he also worked on the great Palace of Versailles.

The fact is that the palace itself was built in 1676 and began to house soldiers in its many rooms, always surrounded by splendid gardens. Up to 6,000 people lived in the Palace of the Invalids, and even today they continue to reside thereold soldiers, albeit far fewer than a hundred.

At that first opening moment the great dome was not yet there. But soon Louis XIV, known as the Sun King and the greatest exponent of absolutist reigns in Europe, decided to build a private chapel here.

Great dome of the Invalides

Great dome of Les Invalides

So he commissioned the job again from Jules Hardouin-Mansart, author of the so-calledChurch of the Dome. But he not only had to build a chapel for the exclusive use of the monarch, but he also planned that the royal tombs would be arranged there. Hence the grandiloquence of its architecture, without a doubt one of the best examples of Baroque French architecture of the 16th centuryI, better known in France as le grand siecle.

However, the bodies of the kings never rested here, and who does have his tomb here isNapoleon Bonaparte. Possibly the most brilliant soldier in the history of France. So even though Napoleon died in exile on the far awayisland of Saint Helena, his remains were moved 20 years after his death to this place

And to end this tour of this great Parisian monument, it must be said that attached to the Dome temple is the church of Saint Louis of the Invalides. This one was also built between 1679 and 1708 Hardouin-Mansart although following the initial plans of Bruand. ThusThis is a more sober, very classic work, whose development is based on a Greek cross plan.

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