On May 24, 1670, Louis XIV, the Sun King, decided to implement the construction of the Hôtel National des Invalides to receive wounded, disabled, or de facto war-mutilated soldiers from Europe’s largest Army. He entrusted the construction to the Burning Liberal architect (1671-1676).
During the French Revolution (1789 to 1799), the Hôtel national des Invalides was the victim of numerous acts of vandalism and threatened with extinction, but Napoleon I, visionary and respectful of equality between citizens, to win the hearts of soldiers and reconcile the French, exhausted by ten years of political instability and military conflicts, decided to postpone by one day the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille, to offer a lavish ceremony (July 15, 1804) to the Invalides for the very first handover of Medals of the Legion of Honor, the highest national honor, to “its deserving soldiers and scholars.”
In 1840, King Louis-Philippe decided to repatriate the body of Napoleon 1ᵉʳ, who died in exile on May 5, 1821, on the island of St. Helena to have him buried in Paris. After much reflection, the Hôtel National des Invalides was chosen for symbolic reasons to the military history and practical reasons to host the Emperor’s body on April 02, 1861. It is his nephew Emperor Napoleon III who is in power.
The Hôtel National des Invalides is today one of the most prestigious monuments in Paris with its famous Golden Dome (directed by Mansard), which still retains its function as a hospital hospice to welcome army fighters. It now houses an admirable 60-gun artillery collection tracing 200 years of history in the courtyard, sculptures and statues, several museums: the museum of relief plans, inaugurated in 1997, which allows us to have the notion of the military border of each region with its 28 relief plans of the fortifications of the handle; the Museum of Armies which presents one of the most exceptional collections of military history in France, even the world (from Louis XIV to Napoleon III, as well as the two world wars) and the Museum of the Order of Liberation, dedicated to the mythical order founded by General de Gaulle, which testifies to the journey of the combatants, resistance fighters and deportees of free France during the Second World War, as well as its two churches: the Church of St. Louis des Invalides (called “soldiers) testimony of the faith by Louis XIV and the Dome Church where is the imposing tomb of Napoleon I, the Emperor of the French.