Les Invalides

Facts and stories about Les Invalides

Motive

· The complex known as the Hôtel des Invalides was founded in 1671 by Louis XIV. He wanted to provide accommodation for disabled and impoverished war veterans.

Exterior

· The front facade facing the Seine river is 196 meters long (643 ft). The whole complex features fifteen courtyards, the largest being the “cour d'honneur” (court of honor). This courtyard was used for military parades.

Construction

· The building was completed in 1676 and housed up to 4,000 war veterans. A wide, 500 meters long esplanade designed by Robert de Cotte separates the Hôtel des Invalides from the late nineteenth-century. It was unique compared to many other building in Paris.

The connected chruch

· The church is connected directly with the Royal chapel, better known as the Dôme des Invalides. This chapel with a 107 meter high dome (351 ft) was for exclusive use of the royal family. Construction of the dome was completed in 1708, 27 years after the first stone was laid.

Royal Family

· Plans to bury the remains of the Royal Family here were set aside after the death of king Louis XIV, and in 1840 king Louis-Philippe repatriated the remains of the Emperor Napoleon from st. Helena - where he was buried after his death 19 years earlier - to have Napoleon entombed here. The Dôme des Invalides now also houses the tombs of several other military leaders like Turenne, Vauban, Marshall Foch and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Bonaparte and his tomb

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Claim to fame

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and its associated wars. One of the greatest commanders in history, his campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide and he remains one of the most celebrated and controversial political figures in Western history.

Born and raised

Napoleon was born on the island of Corsica to a relatively modest family of noble Italian ancestry. From 1789, Napoleon supported the Revolution and tried to spread its ideals to Corsica, but he was banished from the island in 1793.
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Heroic Acts

· In 1795, he saved the French government from collapse by firing on the Parisian mobs with cannons, an event known as the 13 Vendémiaire. · In March 1796, he started the Italian military campaign that transformed him into a well-known figure in Europe. In 1798 he launched a military expedition to Egypt, conquering the Ottoman province with a decisive victory at the Battle of the Pyramids and facilitating the rise of modern Egyptology.

· in March 1796, he started the Italian military campaign that transformed him into a well-known figure in Europe. In 1798 he launched a military expedition to Egypt, conquering the Ottoman province with a decisive victory at the Battle of the Pyramids and facilitating the rise of modern Egyptology.

· Napoleon tried to compel Portugal to follow the Continental System by sending an army into Iberia. In 1808, he declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain, which precipitated the outbreak of the Peninsular War, widely noted for its brutal guerrilla warfare.

The fall

· In October 1813, a large Allied army defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig. The next year, the Allies launched an invasion of France and captured Paris, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April 1814. He was exiled to the island of Elba. The Bourbons were restored to power and the French lost most territories they had conquered since the Revolution. However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and returned to lead the French government, only to find himself at war against another coalition.

· This new coalition decisively defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June. He attempted to flee to the United States, but the British blocked his escape route. He surrendered to British custody and spent the last six years of his life in confinement on the remote island of Saint Helena

· His death in 1821, at the age of 51, was received by shock and grief throughout Europe and the New World. In 1840, roughly one million people lined the streets of Paris to witness his remains returning to France, where they still reside at Les Invalides.

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Works Cited

"Les Invalides." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"Napoleon." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.