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 kings 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 here, and the gold-domed Cathedral of St. Louis is the seat of the Bishop of the Armies.
Follow your expert guide on a journey through history. See magnificent Medieval and Renaissance armor; learn how the French and their allies resisted the invading German armies during World War II and how and why Uncle Sam got involved. Discover how the Resistance was organized, how the D-Day landings were coordinated and how they were perceived in Paris including the story of the British fighter pilots who lived hidden in the dome during the Occupation. Explore the lives of two of the most famous and influential figures of French military history, Charles de Gaulle and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Then visit the breathtaking tomb of the most famous general in European history. After crowning himself Emperor in 1804, Napoleon went on to conquer huge swathes of Europe until his final defeat at Waterloo. Exiled until his death in 1821, his body was returned to France and placed here in the enormous sarcophagus built specially for him. His son is also buried next to him, his body brought to Paris by Hitler in 1940.
Join your private guide on this compelling visit to the Invalides on a journey through war, defeat, resistance, and glory.