"Invalides St-Louis Church." Top 5 Page for this destination Dome Des Invalides - Les Invalides Tip by breughel

Dome Des Invalides - Les Invalides, Paris: 38 reviews and 108 photos

  St-Louis des Invalides - nave
by breughel
  • St-Louis des Invalides - nave - Paris
      St-Louis des Invalides - nave
    by breughel
  • Dome and church des Invalides. - Paris
      Dome and church des Invalides.
    by breughel
  • Invalides St-Louis church - flags of colonial wars - Paris
      Invalides St-Louis church - flags of colonial wars
    by breughel
  • Invalides St-Louis church - Organ - Paris
      Invalides St-Louis church - Organ
    by breughel

The Saint-Louis Church of the Invalids has something unique in Europe by the fact that the building is double: the nave constitutes the Church of the Soldiers, while the chorus, under the cupola, is called the Dome. Up to the Revolution, the two churches used the same high altar. The distinction was concretized by the installation, in 1873, of a large window separating the two parts.

There is presently a marked contrast between the Church of the Soldiers with a clear and sober décor (and few visitors) and the much visited Dome with the tomb of Napoleon and its magnificent marble decors but there exists an architectural continuity particularly visible from aerial views.

The architect was Jules Hardouin-Mansart who produced in 1680 the final design for the Dome des Invalides, a Greek cross inscribed in a square with an attached circular presbytery. It is a highlight of the French classical architecture and a point of reference in the Parisian landscape culminating at 101 meters. In 1989, at the time of the bicentenary of the French revolution, the dome was regilded with 550.000 sheets of gold, i.e. more than ten kilos.
The Saint-Louis church (presently a cathedral) was completed in 1679 and intended for the worship and the daily offices of the disabled army veterans.
Another unique characteristic is the fact that the vault is decorated with military trophies of France, and contains the tombs of Marshals of France, important military chiefs as well as many governors of the Invalides.
Saint-Louis des Invalides is attached administratively to the museum of the Army and is today the seat of vicariate to the French Armies and used each year for commemorative masses among which the mass remembering the death of Napoleon I.

The Organ built by Alexandre Thierry in 1679 is famous but was repaired and modified on several occasions. It is in this church that the world's première of Hector Berlioz's Requiem was given in 1837.
Open:10 - 17 or 18 h. Entry is free.

Address: Invalides
Website: http://www.musee-armee.fr

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Mar 24, 2015
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse

Comments (2)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Alas there should be some our colors too. But we have a lot of Napoleonic colors and eagles in our churches and museums. We defeated the Ogre!

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Feb 15, 2014 at 2:04 AM

      In French "Bérézina" has been used as a synonym for "disaster."

    • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
      Feb 15, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      I know. Too many disasters ? Courtrai, Poitiers, Agincourt, Berezina, Waterloo, Sedan, otherwise we can count until tomorrow!

  • JulieJueletha's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Another great page!


“Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 5 9
Forum Rank:
0 2 3 6 9

Have you been to Paris?

  Share Your Travels