Localisation
Access

Metro stations

  • Line 8 Balard - Créteil : " La Tour Maubourg " station, avenue de la Motte-Piquet
  • Line 8 Balard - Créteil : " Invalides " station, rue de l'Université
  • Line 13: "Varenne" station, boulevard des Invalides
  • Handicap: Visitors with motor disabilities are invited to go to 6 boulevard des Invalides

RER station

  • Line C: "Invalides" station, rue de l'Université

Bus

Vélib'

  • Station n°7010 : in front of 3 rue de Constantine
  • Station n°7015 : 9, boulevard des Invalides
  • Station n°7016 : 13, rue Surcouf
  • Station n°7017 : 1, avenue de la Motte-Piquet

Parking

  • Paid parking lot: 23 rue de Constantine
Address
  • Entrance to the Dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, 2 place Vauban, 75007, Paris
  • Entrance on the Esplanade des Invalides side, 129 rue de Grenelle, 75007, Paris
Reservation

The ticket gives you access to

  • the permanent collections of the Musée de l'Armée (ancient department, 13th - 17th century armor and weapons; modern department, from Louis XIV to Napoleon III, 1643 - 1870; contemporary department, the two world wars 1871 - 1945 and the Charles de Gaulle historial),
  • the tomb of Napoleon I (Eglise du Dôme)
  • as well as the Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération.

The Cour d'Honneur (artillery collections) and the Cathedral Saint-Louis des Invalides are freely accessible.

Your ticket is valid for the day of your choice.
Access to the museums of the Hôtel national des Invalides and the Dôme des Invalides - Find out more:

  • Museum admission ticket; €14.00
  • Free admission for children under 18: €0.00
  • Museum admission for large families: €11.00
  • Other rates: free (under 26 - Education Pass rate - Military - Disabled - Solidarity rate).
Full description

The tomb of Napoleon 1st is located under the Dôme des Invalides which can be seen from all over Paris. Several French men of war are also buried in this part of the monument of the Invalides. The Dôme des Invalides can be described as France's military pantheon.

Two churches for the Hotel des Invalides

The Hotel des Invalides complex includes, among others, two churches:

  • Saint-Louis-des-Invalides Church, originally built for soldiers, invalids of the wars. It was declared the cathedral of the diocese to the French armies in 1986. It was built in 1676. The church, seat of a parish of the diocese of Paris until 1791, was opened for invalid soldiers, residents of the Hôtel des Invalides, as early as 1679 (under Louis XIV). The ringing of the bell reminded them of their spiritual duties: morning and evening prayer and obligatory attendance at Mass and Vespers on Sundays and major holidays. This church is still in use today.
  • The chapel was built for the exclusive use of the royal family, known as the Dome of the Invalids, is now desacralized. The construction of this dome was completed in 1708, also during the reign of Louis XIV, 27 years after the laying of the foundation stone. It is where is now Tomb of Napoleon.

The two buildings are contiguous and directly connected, but separated by a glass roof built in 1873.

The special construction of the Dôme des Invalides for the Tomb of Napoleon 1st

The Dome was redecorated in 1807, 1830, 1839, 1937, and for the last time in 1989, requiring 12 kilos of gold on this occasion.

Inside, under the roofing dome, which protects from the rain and can be seen from the outside, there are two stone cupolas, open in the center, made of ashlar. They are painted with frescoes depicting the figures of several saints painted by Jean Jouvenet and a huge composition by Charles de la Fosse representing Saint Louis in his coat of ermine with royal emblems (the fleur-de-lys) handing his sword to Jesus Christ himself, surrounded by musical angels.

The Tomb of Napoleon 1st

Since April 2, 1861, the Tomb of Napoleon 1st is in the Dome building. His body is resting at the vertical axis of the center of the dome.

The remains of Napoleon 1st, who died in 1821 at 51 years on Île Sainte-Hélène, were placed provisionally in the side chapel of the Dome called "Saint-Jérôme". His return to France was on 15 December 1840. On that date, the tomb of Napoleon, commissioned from Louis Visconti by King Louis-Philippe, was not yet completed and the open-air crypt had not yet been dug. The rulers of the July Monarchy sought to gather supporters of the late emperor. Note that at the same period, The Arc de Triomphe was also completed.

The body of Napolean lying within six successive coffins inside the external sarcophagus was not placed until April 2, 1861, in its present location. At that time the ruler was Napoleon 3rd, the nephew of Napoleon 1st. Only the imperial family and some dignitaries were present.

It is a monumental sarcophagus, made of red quartzite from Finland or "metamorphic sandstone" extracted from a quarry in Karelia belonging to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It rests on a base of green granite from the Vosges, the whole being placed in an open circular-shaped crypt in the center of the Saint-Louis chapel, under the dome (This same king built the Sainte Chapelle in l'Ile de la Cité).

The original tombstone of Napoleon 1st in Saint Helena Island, repatriated in 1840 from the island, is now located near the "courtyard of Nîmes", a garden bordering the church of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides.

Other personalities resting in the church of the Dome

On December 15, 1940, the ashes of Napoleon's only son, known as the "King of Rome" or Napoleon II or "the Eaglet", were transported there from Vienna (Austria) to be placed in a funerary urn. It was the suggestion of Adolf Hitler advised by Otto Abetz and in the presence of Fernand de Brinon for the Vichy Government (at the time, Paris was in the occupied zone by the Germans).

The remains of Napoleon's brothers, Joseph and Jerome Bonaparte, as well as the heart of the Queen of Westphalia, his wife, and other members of the Bonaparte family, also lie there.

Several Commanders-in-Chief of the First and Second World Wars were also buried at Les Invalides: the Marshals of France Ferdinand Foch, Hubert Lyautey, Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Alphonse Juin, Generals Robert Nivelle, Charles Mangin, Pierre Auguste Roques and Henri Giraud, Admirals Boué de Lapeyrère and Gauchet.

The governors of the Hôtel des Invalides, which remains a military square, are also buried there.

Slightly more than 70 remains (or their hearts for some) of military personalities rest today in this (desacralized) church.

A National Place of Tribute

L'Hommage National, or Tribute of the Nation, is an official designation in France for a distinction of exceptional honor given to a deceased person at his or her funeral. This ceremony is held in the "Cour d'Honneur" just after the main entrance.

The Hôtel des Invalides, as a military Pantheon, is first the place of those who died for the nation. Since the return of Napoleon's ashes to the Invalides in 1840, the national tribute has been held, most often, in the courtyard of honor of the Hôtel des Invalides.

It is usually a tribute to soldiers killed in combat, but many civilian personalities have been honored after their deaths: Commander Cousteau in 1997, politicians, a writer Jean d'Ormesson in 2017, a singer Charles Aznavour in 2018, and President Jacques Chirac in 2019. This official distinction also takes place for victims of terrorist attacks, such as that of gendarme Arnaud Beltrame in 2018.

During this national tribute, ceremonies are held in the "Cours d'Honneur", are lined up, at attention, detachments of the three armies and the music. On the other side, invited civilians. The ceremony, presided over by the President of the Republic, traditionally includes the following phases: military honors, followed by the review of the troops by the President of the Republic (who is also the head of the armies), the arrival of the coffin covered with the national flag, a speech by relatives, the eulogy delivered by the Head of State, the military funeral honors, the departure of the coffin and the honors with flags.

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Open hours today: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Monday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Tuesday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Wednesday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Thursday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Friday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Saturday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • Sunday

    10:00 am - 6:00 pm

  • July 23, 2024 11:15 pm local time

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