The dome above the tombstone of Napoleon Bonaparte is one that can be seen from landmarks in the city of Paris, especially from the Eiffel Tower. However, for an elite few, the prospect of trialing the ornate dome made of gold is a privilege in the same league of a pilgrimage. That is why many tourists visit the Invalides dome in person, taking a walkthrough of some of the most historic events, which changed the landscape of the French.
The historic monument in the seventh arrondissement of Paris sits inside a dome church, which was constructed in the year 1706. The dome church is part of the Les Invalides complex, which comprises of a museum of the French, two side chapels, up to 15 courtyards, and sites where French wartime heroes were buried in the past. In fact, the Baroque architecture of the dome was influenced by the Roman Cathedral namely Saint Peters Basilica.
It is even said that American architect Thomas Ustick Walter was influenced by the architectural achievement during his Paris visit and used it as a template for conceiving the design of the Capitol Building in Washington DC. Just as appealing the front side of the cathedral may seem from the outside, housed inside are impressive feats like the bronze doors made of cannons of Austerlitz, captured by Napoleon Bonaparte’s soldiers.
In fact, the French Emperor’s sarcophagus is the highlight of the cathedral, which sits below the ornate dome that ranges 351 feet tall. Each of the remaining stone coffins inside the dome features cryptic inscriptions and is made of iron, mahogany, lead, ebony, and porphyry. The Les Invalides dome sits on a granite showpiece in the center encircled by a dozen pillars, which denote victory of the ‘Little Corporal’ and his ancient soldiers.
Apart from Napoleon Bonaparte’s Tomb, several other wartime heroes also found their resting place at the palatial Les Invalides. For instance, the two chapels in the sides feature the tombstone of his siblings namely Joseph Bonaparte and Jerome Bonaparte. There is also a statue, which depicts the soldiers moving the French Marshal Ferdinand Foch’s coffin at his burial site. Apart from that, the Les Invalides complex also features an ‘Urn’, which comprises of the heart of Sébastien Vauban a French military engineer who was also commissioned as a French Marshal.
Another must-see venue in the complex is the Musée de l’Armée, a museum that houses statues, artworks, artillery, and other remains from the Middle Ages to till date. In fact, armor vests, weapons, artworks, and around 500,000 objects feature in the Musée de l’Armée. So, when you are in the Parisian arrondissement, the museum and the Les Invalides dome should be the top of must-visit places on your wishlist.
If you are planning a visit to all the Parisian landmarks sites in a row, you can do so with the help of private Paris tour operators who will bring you all the affordability and a comprehensive visit to the heart of the city. Moreover, knowing some French history would serve your Paris city tours and the overall itinerary well too, so never miss an opportunity to be one among the natives.
When French Revolution set in and forced the elitists in France to scale up the ladder of power on a merit basis, Napoleon Bonaparte had taken the advantage of the chances available at the time. In fact, following an uprising in the year 1795, he became the chief in command of the Italian army, and met acclaim by defeating the Austrians with soldiers short on food supply who battled barefoot. Then, Napoleon took the soldiers to Egypt for disrupting the Englishmen’s paths of trade. Much in the same vein, he was also responsible for turning the campaign in ancient Egypt into a public relations stunt to the countrymen in France even though the reality was different.
Napoleon was quick to capture the Battle of Alexandria and even won the Pyramid battles, which made him into an icon of the foregone past and a prominent figure in the French history. In the year 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte ousted the French Revolutionary government and became the ‘First Consul’. In the year 1803, he went on to trade Louisiana to the United States, and one year later, reigned to power against all odds. The Emperor died in May 1821, and had a state funeral in the city of Paris in December 1840. His remains were buried at the Chapelle Saint-Jérôme at Les Invalides initially and the coffin was brought to the now Les Invalides dome in 1861.