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All You Need to Know About Paris Army Museum, the French Military Archive

Renowned as Les Invalides, the Paris Army Museum, stands as a distinguished military museum in France, located at the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris's 7th arrondissement. This esteemed museum is committed to presenting the rich history of F...

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2 hours








0-30 mins (Peak), 0-30 mins (Off Peak)

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Did you know?

In World War II, the Hôtel des Invalides complex, housing the museum, covertly sheltered Allied pilots, playing a crucial yet hidden role in the war effort.

The museum showcases an array of military miniatures, featuring a meticulously crafted model of the Battle of Waterloo, a masterpiece completed over 15 years.

The Paris Army Museum's diverse exhibits include a historic collection of cars and planes, such as a 1905 Renault and a WWII-era Spitfire, enriching its array of displays.

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Invalides: Napoleon's Tomb & Army Museum Skip-the-Line Tickets
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Invalides: Aura Immersive Experience Entry Ticket
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50 min.
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Tomb of Napoleon & Army Museum with Duels Exhibition Tickets
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Invalides & Napoleon's Tomb Guided Tour
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1 hr. 30 min. - 2 hr.
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What to see at the Paris Army Museum?

Paris Army Museum

Main Courtyard And Artillery Collections

In the heart of Les Invalides, discover a courtyard showcasing artefacts from the French Revolution. Featuring around 60 bronze cannons, howitzers, and mortars, this exhibit reveals 200 years of French military history, providing insights into weapon manufacturing and their roles in wartime.

The Army Museum

Armour And Weapons, 13th–17th Centuries

Explore a dedicated section highlighting arms and ammunition from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Divided into four parts, including the Royal Room, Medieval Room, and the Louis XIII Room, it presents collections ranging from feudal to royal armies, with a Themed Arsenal Gallery displaying oriental and antique arms.

Paris Army Museum

Modern Department, From Louis XIV To Napoleon III, 1643–1870

This department is dedicated to the political, social, military, and industrial history of France from Louis XIV to Napoleon III. It features uniforms, extraordinary arms and weapons, important figures like Napoleon Bonaparte, and army equipment belonging to French and foreign regiments. This section explores battles, the lives of soldiers, and technological advancements during this period.

Paris Army Museum

Contemporary Department, The Two World Wars 1871–1945

The Contemporary Department features objects and artefacts from the two World Wars, tracing stories of the French Army from 1871 to 1945. Admire the French and foreign uniforms, personal objects of soldiers, ceremonial swords, batons, emblems, letters, postcards, paintings, and other items from the archives that depict life during the 20th century's greatest conflicts.

Paris Army Museum

The Charles De Gaulle Monument

Immerse yourself in an interactive space honouring the work and journey of Charles de Gaulle, the founding President of the Fifth Republic. Featuring a multi-screen room, multimedia exhibits, and a circular glass ring displaying archived footage, photographs, and narratives of wars, the space pays homage to a key figure in French history.

Paris Army Museum

Cabinets Insolites

Explore three unique cabinets displaying a collection of artillery models from the 16th to the 19th centuries, musical instruments belonging to the military, and a fascinating collection of military figurines including 5000 toy soldiers exhibited out of a collection of 1,40,000 of them.

Paris Army Museum

Musée de l'ordre de la Libération

The Musée de l'ordre de la Libération is a military museum comprising three galleries - Free France, Interior Resistance, and Deportation - dedicated to the Order of the Liberation, which is considered the second national order in France after the Légion d'Honneur created by Charles de Gaulle in 1940.

Paris Army Museum

Musée Des Plans-Reliefs

Located within the Paris Army Museum, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs is home to a collection of 100 military models created between 1668 and 1870. Marquis de Louvois, Secretary of State for War to Louis XIV, made the effort to collect three-dimensional models representing fortified cities until 1870 for military purposes, after which the fortifications disappeared.

Paris Army Museum

Cathedral Of Saint-Louis Des Invalides

The Saint Louis Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint-Louis Des Invalides, stands as a testament to Louis XIV's religious faith. The building originally combined the Dome des Invalides, the royal chapel, and the Veterans’ Chapel for the king and his soldiers to enter the space and attend mass. Originally designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, it now solely houses the Veterans’ Chapel.

Paris Army Museum

Dôme Des Invalides

Unmissable in the Paris skyline, the Dôme des Invalides is the emblem of the Hôtel National des Invalides, housing the Dome Church and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Standing tall at 107 meters, the monument is adorned with gold leaf and is an important landmark in Paris.

Brief History of Paris Army Museum

  • 1670: King Louis XIV establishes Les Invalides as a hospital and retirement home for war veterans.
  • 1795: Musée de l'Artillerie is founded during the French Revolution.
  • 1815: The museum is looted after the Allies occupied Paris following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.
  • 1871: Musée de l'Artillerie is moved into Hotel des Invalides following the Franco-Prussian War and the proclamation of the Third Republic.
  • 1896: A second museum named the Musée Historique de l'Armée (Historical Museum of the Army) is created soon after the Paris World Fair.
  • 1905: Musée de l'Armée is officially created by merging Musée d'Artillerie and Musée Historique de l'Armée.
  • 1923: Significant extension of Les Invalides takes place.
  • 1940: The museum faces loot and damage again as Paris falls to German occupation during the Second World War.

Who built the Paris Army Museum?

Architect Louis Visconti played a pivotal role in crafting the Paris Army Museum, housed in the Hôtel des Invalides. Fusing neoclassical and Second Empire styles, his design, notably seen in the façade, reflects his architectural prowess. Visconti, renowned for the Palais Garnier opera house, left an indelible mark with the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte within the museum. His architectural legacy at the Paris Army Museum stands as a testament to grandeur and historical importance.

Paris Army Museum Architecture

Paris Army Museum

The Paris Army Museum is a mesmerizing architectural marvel that seamlessly blends classical and Baroque styles, constructed in the 17th century. Jules Hardouin-Mansart's 19th-century dome enhances its grandeur, adorned with intricate sculptures and ornamental details. Inside, the soaring ceilings, elaborate corridors, and majestic galleries offer a captivating experience. 

The tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, a feat of funerary architecture, stands out. The museum's harmonious blend of architectural elements creates an enchanting ambience, perfectly complementing its extensive military artefact collection. This historical and artistic gem celebrates both the splendour of its construction and the rich heritage it safeguards.

All Your Questions About Paris Army Museum Answered

What is the Paris Army Museum?

The Paris Army Museum, or Musée de l'Armée, is a renowned military museum in Les Invalides, Paris, showcasing French military history.

What are the main highlights at the Paris Army Museum?

The main highlights inside the Paris Army Museum include the main courtyard, historical galleries, weaponry and armour, exhibits on World Wars I and II, St. Louis’ Cathedral, Napoleon's tomb, Relief Map Museum, and contemporary military operations.

How many artworks does the Paris Army Museum have?

The Paris Army Museum is home to over 500,000 historical military artefacts.

How can I get tickets to the Paris Army Museum?

You can book your Paris Army Museum tickets online.

How much are Paris Army Museum tickets?

The Paris Army Museum tickets start at the price of €15.

Are guided tours available at the Paris Army Museum?

Yes, guided tours are available, providing in-depth insights into the museum's collections and history.

What is the history of the Paris Army Museum?

Les Invalides, where the Paris Army Museum is located, was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670 and later became the official home of the Paris Army Museum in 1905.

What are the major art collections housed in the Paris Army Museum?

The Paris Army Museum features an extensive collection of more than 500,000 arms, weapons, objects, and artefacts dating back to the Antiquity period until the 20th century. The Tomb of Napoleon I, the Charles de Gaulle Monument, the Relief Map Museum, and the Cathedral Of Saint-Louis Des Invalides are also housed within the museum complex.

What are the Paris Army Museum timings?

The Paris Army Museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day. However, on the first Friday of each month, it opens late at around 6 PM until 10 PM. The museum remains closed on 1st January, 1st May, and 25th December.

What is the best time to visit the Paris Army Museum?

The best time to visit the Paris Army Museum is during weekdays to avoid crowds, preferably in the morning when it opens or late afternoon just before closing time.

Where is the Paris Army Museum located?

The Paris Army Museum is located inside the Hotel des Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

Is there a recommended route or itinerary for visiting the Paris Army Museum?

While there isn't a recommended route, starting with the historical galleries and progressing through the themed rooms offers a chronological journey through French military history.

Are there any amenities or facilities at the Louvre Museum?

Amenities at the Paris Army Museum include a gift shop, restrooms, elevators, a cash machine, cloakrooms, and wheelchair accessibility.

Are there dining options available at the Paris Army Museum?

Yes. There are dining options within Les Invalides, offering a convenient place to grab a meal during your visit.

Is photography allowed at the Paris Army Museum?

Yes, photography is allowed in most sections of the Paris Army Museum. However, restrictions may apply in specific exhibit areas. Please ensure you do not use flash or carry any camera equipment, like tripods, inside the premises.

What other attractions are near the Paris Army Museum?

Nearby attractions include the Eiffel Tower, Musée Rodin, and the Seine River, offering a variety of experiences for visitors.