Les Invalides, Musée de l'Armée & the Dôme: Private 2.5-hour Tour
Discover the fascinating life and era of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Military history of France on this private 2.5-hour tour of his tomb in the magnificent domed mausoleum and Les Invalides - France's National Army Museum, formerly the military hospital for wounded soldiers.
On your private tour, you will:
- Learn about the background of this stunning complex of historic buildings that make up the Hôtel des Invalides;
- Walk through the squares and arches to the magnificent golden-domed Cathedral Church of Saint Louis;
- Admire the cathedral's exquisite 300-year-old architecture, commissioned by King Louis XIV - the Sun King - in 1677 and designed by Mansart;
- See the flags of France's enemies triumphantly hanging along the nave of the church;
- Enter the magnificent mausoleum under the vast, majestic dome to see Napoleon's tomb;
- Learn all about Napoleon's life, his rise to power, his marriage, his military campaigns, and his controversial legacy;
- Hear about his death in exile on Saint Helena, and how his remains were returned to France, and finally laid to rest in this magnificent place;
- Visit the Military Museum housed inside the Hôtel des Invalides;
- Learn about the building's former use as a hospital for veterans and its conversion into a military museum;
- Explore the fascinating gallery of gun carriages, canons, armour, and weaponry from the middle-ages to the 17th century;
- See the clunky suits of armour and heavy swords - and learn about the evolution of military combat;
- Learn about the 18th Century Napoleonic Wars in the gallery dedicated to Napoleon's Grand Army;
- Explore a number of galleries that may interest you including the spaces dedicated to both the First and Second World Wars;
- See The Order of Liberation Museum - which tells the story of France's liberation from the Nazis;
- Learn all about Charles de Gaulle in a gallery dedicated to his achievements in WW2 and legacy as president of France;
- Admire the intricate scale model of the whole complex and panoramic views of Paris;
- End the tour inside the museum complex where you can continue exploring at your leisure.
Explore France’s fascinating military history – especially the life and era of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte – on this fascinating 2.5-hour private tour of his magnificent tomb and the Army Museum of Les Invalides.
Built 300 years ago during the reign of the Sun King Louis XIV, and designed by the distinguished architect Mansart, the golden-edged dome of Napoleon’s mausoleum in the cathedral church of St Louis is one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks in Paris. Until the Eiffel Tower, it was the tallest dome in Paris.
During the French Revolution, the church became the Temple of Mars – the Roman god of War. In 1800, Napoleon converted it into a vast pantheon of tombs for military heroes. He himself was interred there in 1861, forty years after his death in St Helena. His magnificent tomb is the focal point of the mausoleum and is surrounded by many of his family members and heirs.
The museum is an amazing collection and display of France’s dramatic military history – with weaponry from the middle ages until the reign of the Sun King on display, as well as galleries dedicated to Napoleon and his Grand Army, the World Wars of the twentieth century, and Charles de Gaulle. This tour is wonderful for history buffs, and with its interactive displays, also great for kids.
Please note: The First and Second World Wars spaces are exceptionally closed to the public until June 30, 2023, due to work to improve visitor comfort.