Paris, The Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb Guided Tour, Semi-Private, maximum 8
- Duration: 150 Minutes (approx.)
- Location: Paris
- Product code: INV2.5SP
Commissioned by King Louis XIV and designed in the 17th century by Jules Hardouin Mansart (the same architect who designed the incredible Hall of Mirrors in Versailles!) the Invalides was originally built as a hospital and home for wounded and retired soldiers returning from the King’s wars. The King knew that he owed his glories to his troops, so he ordered a most magnificent building for them. Nowadays you will still find veterans living there, and the gold domed Cathedral of St Louis is the seat of the Bishop of the Armies.
Your expert guide will take you on a historical journey. See magnificently decorated armor and cannons from the XVIIth century. Hear of the exploits of General Bonaparte and learn how he became Emperor Napoleon. During La Resistance under German occupation in the 1940s, two British pilots were hidden in this very structure! Charles de Gaulle kept up French morale while directing the Free French Forces, and D-Day was a success thanks to our allies.
After the museum, you’ll enter the church to discover the tomb of the most famous military leader in European history. After taking the imperial crown for himself in 1804, Napoleon continued his program of European conquest right up to his ultimate defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon died in exile in 1821, but his remains were returned to France in 1840 and entombed according to his wishes in the heart of his capital. Napoleon’s son, nicknamed the Eaglet, also died on foreign soil; his body was re-interred here by Hitler in 1940.
Join us on this compelling visit to the Invalides, through war, defeat, resistance and glory.