Hôtel des Invalides
This is a view of the dome over the royal chapel of the church of Saint Louis, located inside the Hôtel des Invalides /otɛl dez ɛ̃valid/, as seen from the avenue de Breteuil. The hôtel is in the seventh arrondissement, not far from Montparnasse and the Eiffel Tower. The dome’s claim to fame is that beneath it rest the remains of Napoléon Bonaparte; I have a picture of his elaborate tomb, if you are interested. Both the church and the hôtel were built in the late 1600s. (The word hôtel is used to refer to a large building or mansion in French, and not just to a hotel as it is understood in the English-speaking world.)
The gold that you see on the dome is the real thing; the dome was re-gilt for the Bicentennial in 1989, at considerable expense.
The rest of the Invalides complex was originally designed as a military hospital, and it is still partially used for that purpose (although there aren’t too many patients left). Most of the complex today houses a large military museum, though, called (appropriately) the Musé de l’Armée; it is one of the largest military museums in the world.
In the photograph, you are looking north northwest, in mid-afternoon. A kilometre off to the left is the Eiffel Tower; behind the camera is Montparnasse, about two kilometres away. The Seine River is only a very short distance away, on the other side of the hôtel.
Click directly on the photo to see a larger version (twice this size). Photographed on July 16, 1999.
Place des Vosges
Traditional Shopping Gallery