Nov. 1, 2015

Museum of the Army Napoleon's Tomb

We returned to Paris on Thursday the 22nd.  Evening dinner was at an Irish pub across the street from the hotel watching the baseball playoffs on our iPad (why not?!) On Friday we spent most of the day at the Army Museum a few blocks from the hotel followed by some shoping at Toys 'R Us (Dylan) and other shops (Monika).  

The Army Museum at Les Invalides was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital and home for disabled soldiers. It now houses the Tomb of Napoleon and the museum of the Army of France. The museum has a huge collection of military paraphernalia dating from antiquity to the present day.  Lots of armor and early fire arms on display. The Musée de L'Armée was established in 1905 by merging the Artillery Museum and the Historical Army Museum. It contains 500,000 objects, including weapons, armour, artillery, uniforms, emblems and paintings.

The other big attraction is the magnificent Tomb of Napoléon; Napoléon passed away in 1821, on the island of St Helena, where he had been in exile since 1815. His remains rested there until 1840 when King Louis-Philippe ordered the emperor’s body be returned to France.  The museum has a large walk through exhibit of France's "modern" wars, Franco-Prussian in 1870, WWI in 1914 and WWII in 1940.  This is the best part of the entire museum, a great hands on and visual history lesson.

The Tomb of Napoléon, designed by the architect Visconti (1791-1853). It is made from red porphyry with a green granite base and circled by a crown of laurels and inscriptions of the great victories of the Empire. The body of the Emperor was laid in the tomb on April 2nd 1861. (see pictures in Photo Album)