L’Hôtel National des Invalides is a massive complex in the 7th arrondissement dedicated to France’s military history, as well as an operating retirement home for war veterans. Construction began in 1670 and finished in 1676. Louis XIV intended the complex be used as a military hospital. The signature dome was added later on and is a triumph of Baroque architecture.
The complex is home to three notable museums. The Musée des Plans-Reliefs contains 28 models of fortifications throughout France. Its collection dates from the 17th through 19th centuries. The Musée d’Histouire Contemporaine covers world history since 1870.
The Musée de l’Armée is one of the better museums in Paris. It holds 500,000 military artifacts from ancient France through World War II. The antique arms and armor exhibit features stunning suits of armor and medieval weapons from the 13th through 17th centuries. The World War I and II exhibits are excellent and comprehensive. Attached and included in the admission is the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, a must-see. Even if you’re not a history or military buff, this museum is definitely worth a visit. Remember to keep your ticket as the museum is spread throughout Les Invalides.
Address: 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75700 Paris
Telephone: +33 01 44 42 38 77
Metro: Invalides (8, 13, RER C), Varenne (13), La Tour-Maubourg (8)
Hours: Closed first Monday of every month and holidays.
Open October 1-March 31; 10:00-17:00
Open April 1-September 30; 10:00-18:00
Free for children under 18.