Hôtel des Invalides

Top choice in St-Germain & Les Invalides

Flanked by the 500m-long Esplanade des Invalides lawns, Hôtel des Invalides was built in the 1670s by Louis XIV to house 4000 invalides (disabled war veterans). On 14 July 1789, a mob broke into the building and seized 32,000 rifles before heading on to the prison at Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.

Admission includes entry to all Hôtel des Invalides sights (temporary exhibitions cost extra). Hours for individual sites can vary – check the website for updates.

In the Cour d’Honneur, the nation’s largest collection on the history of the French military is displayed at the Musée de l'Armée. South is Église St-Louis des Invalides, once used by soldiers, and Église du Dôme, with a dazzling golden dome (1677–1735). Scale models of towns and châteaux across France fill the Musée des Plans-Reliefs.

Atmospheric classical concerts (ranging from €5 to €30) take place regularly here year-round.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St-Germain & Les Invalides attractions

1. Musée de l’Armée

0.01 MILES

North of Hôtel des Invalides, in the Cour d’Honneur, is the Musée de l’Armée, which holds the nation’s largest collection on French military history.

2. Église du Dôme

0.14 MILES

With its sparkling golden dome (1677–1735), the landmark church of Hôtel des Invalides is one of the finest religious edifices erected under Louis XIV and…

3. Musée Rodin

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Even if you're not an art lover, it is worth visiting this high-profile art museum to lose yourself in its romantic gardens.

4. Basilique Ste-Clotilde

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Resembling a mini Notre Dame, with twin conical steeples and flying buttresses at the rear, this delightful basilica presides over a pretty park. Dating…

5. Ministère des Affaires Étrangères

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Next door to the Assemblée Nationale is the Second Empire–style Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, built between 1845 and 1855. It's closed to the public.

6. Hôtel Matignon


Hôtel Matignon has been the official residence of the French prime minister since the start of the Fifth Republic (1958). It's closed to the public.

7. FluctuArt

0.44 MILES

Opened in 2019, this hip cultural centre occupying a péniche (barge) off pont des Invalides brought an unexpected dash of coolness to an otherwise…

8. Pont Alexandre III

0.48 MILES

Built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) to link the Grand Palais and Petit Palais with Les Invalides on the Left Bank, this Beaux Arts…