Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Les Invalides

Altar in the Dome chapel.
July 25, 2017 – The St. Louis church at Les Invalides was originally constructed in two parts in the 17th Century.  The round dome section was the royal chapel, which was turned into the site for Napoleon’s tomb in the 19th Century. 

The other section was the veterans’ chapel.  A glass wall separated the two and there were two separate altars.  This separation allowed the king, Louis XIV, and his soldiers to attend mass separately from the poor, disabled veterans who lived in the Invalides complex.  Protocol at the time dictated the need for this separation.

Louis XIV had the complex constructed so that poor or disabled veterans would not have to live on the streets of Paris. 

Les Invalides no longer houses large numbers of aged veterans, but there are still about 100 who live in the complex.  The complex also includes a medical center for veterans.

But most of Les Invalides is now the museum of the army.  Dan wanted to go there yesterday, so the five of us trekked up the avenue de la Motte Picquet and bought our tickets.  Our granddaughters have been learning about World Wars I and II lately, so we particularly focused on that part of the museum.  We also visited the dome chapel, which is magnificent.

On the way home, we stopped for refreshments at La Terrasse.  The granddaughters like tea; I loved watching them consume two thé gourmands in that elegant setting.

Napoleon's tomb.
A scale model of Les Invalides.

In the evening, we tried a new place, La Ficelle, on the rue Frémicourt.  Our starters and main courses were very, very good, but the desserts were ho-hum.  The resto tacked on several supplements, so it turned out to be a fairly expensive dinner. 

The girls are positive about everything – the weather, the food, the museums, all the walking, etc.  They do not complain.  And they seem to enjoy our company.  When I point something out to them, the response is usually, “Oh, cool!”  Such enthusiasm!  Not bad for sixteen, eh?

The Dome at Les Invalides.

Looking down at Napoleon's tomb.

Looking across the rotunda toward the altar.

Looking up, at the base of the altar.

Starter course at La Ficelle: chopped beets with nuts and sorbet.  Yumm!

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