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"The Museum of the Order of the Liberation" Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération Tip by tiabunna

  Façade of the Invalides
by tiabunna
  • Façade of the Invalides - Paris
      Façade of the Invalides
    by tiabunna
  • Main entrance to the Invalides - Paris
      Main entrance to the Invalides
    by tiabunna

Les Invalides is a huge building complex, originally built at the orders of Louis XIV as a refuge for old and infirm former soldiers. I can only say that Louis' wars must have left an awful lot of them! The façade of the building is nearly 200 metres long and four storeys high. The Invalides now houses four museums, the best known being the Musée de l’Armée, which apparently has a huge display of weapons and armour through the centuries.

I chose to visit the Museum of the Order of the Liberation, which is in the Robert de Cotte wing of the Invalides, on the western side. Unfortunately there is a rule of no photos, so words will have to suffice. This is clearly not one of the more visited museums, I was one of very few visitors at the time. Entry through the foyer is past a black marble plaque listing the names of the individuals (only 1038), towns and units awarded the Cross of the Liberation, the second highest award in France after the Legion of Honour. Beyond that, there are rooms and galleries to the Free French Forces and their activities in various military theatres. There also is an extensive gallery on the French Resistance which gathered information, assisted people to escape, and assisted aerial operations. It also provided the nucleus for the ‘Maquis’, the fighting part of the operation: on display are sections of rail track and locomotive wheels destroyed by Maquis activities. The museum was making me increasingly depressed so I decided to skip the section about the Deportation – that would have been too much.

Worth a visit? I suspect it depends on your enthusiasm for things military. A Museum Pass will gain you entry and there are no queues.

Main photo: Façade of the Invalides
Second photo: Main entrance to the Invalides.

Address: Hôtel Nat. des Invalides 129, rue de Grenelle
Directions: In the Robert de Cotte wing of the Invalides, on the western side. If you are on foot, just head for the big gilt dome you can see across the Seine from the Place de la Concorde.
Phone: Ph/fax 01 47 05 04 10

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 30, 2006
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