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-   -   Napoleon's Tomb, Invalides, and Military Museum: Worth Visiting? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/napoleon-s-tomb-invalides-and-military-museum-worth-visiting-627175/)

Liora Jun 28th, 2006 03:11 PM

Napoleon's Tomb, Invalides, and Military Museum: Worth Visiting?
 
The title says it all; should I skip these sights or visit them anyway? I only have 8 full days, and was wondering if they're worth my time. I don't have any strong interests in Napoleon and the French Military, but just thought these places would be interesting to visit after reading about them a little bit, and having gained a only little interest from that.

SeaUrchin Jun 28th, 2006 03:23 PM

well, if it doesn't interest you, why would you want to take the little time you have there to visit?

Liora Jun 28th, 2006 03:30 PM

Not regarding my interest level, would you personally recommend visiting there for a first time trip to Paris?

Underhill Jun 28th, 2006 03:39 PM

Yes; Napoleon's tomb is well worth a quick visit--very impressive room, too. But skip the military museum.

Underhill Jun 28th, 2006 03:39 PM

BTW, the domed building where Napoleon's tomb lies is absolutely beautiful; that alone is worth a trip to the Invalides area.

francophile03 Jun 28th, 2006 03:43 PM

Yes. I recommend visiting these sights as they are very historical and interesting even if you're not interested in military things.

christycruz Jun 28th, 2006 03:51 PM

When we were there I was so tired it was the last thing I wanted to do. Turns out they had a fascinating World War II exhibit. I'm no military buff, but I thought it was well worth it. PP are right, the architecture alone is worthy of a look.

Waldo Jun 28th, 2006 05:46 PM

Christycruz is correct. The WWII exhibit is great, although I find one BIG fault with it. Honestly, if one goes to the exhibit not having any knowledge of WWII, that person would be convinced that FRANCE won WWII by themselves, with no help from any other country. Oh, those French!

tuscanlifeedit Jun 28th, 2006 06:44 PM

I have not been to the military museum, but the domed building that houses Napolean's tomb, and the tombs of other notable French military figures, is amazing. I saw it on my first visit to Paris, and have been back twice. It is on the museum pass, so easy to stop in when you are in the area.

As said, the architecture is wonderful, and the monuments are very... I don't know what to say... impressive, I guess.

It doesn't take long to see the Napolean area of Invalides and it is remarkable and memorable.

DH would probably love to see the military museum, but I am a pacifist and I am not comfortable with military things. In London, he went to the Cabinet War Rooms while I attended a spiritual group. It worked for us. ;-)

SeaUrchin Jun 28th, 2006 07:06 PM

I thought it was worth it but I know people who wouldn't. It shouldn't take long to figure out if you want to go to the museum part, as others have said the bldg with his tomb is beautiful. Oh, what the heck, give it a try, you must be a tiny bit interested because you asked!! Have fun.

nessundorma Jun 28th, 2006 07:15 PM

I thought seeing Napoleon's tomb was as boring as seeing anybody's tomb. Who cares? I consider Les Invalides one of the least ineresting things to do in Paris (even more than visting the Pantheon).

With 8 full days, you have plenty of time to wander around Paris pursuing your primary interests. If you find yourself in the area of Les Invalides with time on your hands, decide for yourself if you want to go in and find out for yourself.

Jespere Jun 28th, 2006 07:16 PM

We stopped by last week, actually bought our Museum Passes there, as it was not crowded. The WWI and II exhibits are closed - for about another month - but Napoleon's tomb is well worth seeing. We walked by after going up the Tour Eiffel, then saw the Rodin Museum and bought a picnic at Rue Cler easily in one morning. We had only 6 days.

loisco Jun 28th, 2006 07:17 PM

We loved the World War II exhibit the first time we saw it many many years ago so last May we went again...it was closed for a redo. Never thought to call ahead and that parts would be closed.

. However, there was another exhibit we saw this time that was interesting.. ...true sagas of Resistance fighters, etc. There were sections on the concentration camps with drawings done by people who had been in the camps.We found it all interesting.

The military museum part with the uniforms not of interest at all. We are going back in October to visit the WWII exhibit. It's opening again in July.

Scarlett Jun 28th, 2006 07:23 PM

I wonder about people who say works of art are boring..
There is so much more to the Tomb than just Napoleans coffin. The sculptures, the rooms , the entire place is a work of art.
The history of the place alone should make you stop and give it a moments thought.
I did not go to see a war museum nor am I a history buff, but it is one of the great sights in Paris.
If you have 8 days, you can see it easily as part of a day in that neighborhood. You can walk over to the Rodin afterwards..then over to the Eiffel Tower..walking through the lovely small streets in the 7th and soaking up the atmosphere.

JeffreyJ Jun 28th, 2006 07:23 PM

I visited les Invalides for the third time of my life earlier this month. A wonderful museum, if you're something of a miltary history buff, as I most certainly am.

Couple of issues, though....

The First World War expo STILL ISN'T OPEN. I expected great things from this museum, given that most of the conflict happened on French soil and that it was the seminal 20th century event for the nation. It wasn't open during my last visit in 2004, either Disappointing, to say the least! Just how long does it take for a renovation?

Lot of interesting artifacts, but they're tagged and described in French, and if you have none, you'll miss a lot. You might find yourself saying, for example...'Gee...a little German pistol. Neat'. But you'll miss the description, which indentifies it as the very one surrendered by the last German commander of Paris, General von Cholitz, to an allied officer at the liberation of the city in '44. It's information like that that makes artifacts interesting. I have reasonable French and was able to translate the cards...my family doesn't, couldn't and was consequently rather bored. They should consider tagging the articles multilingualy.

Is it worth the trip? Despite its shortcomings, sure.

Scarlett Jun 28th, 2006 07:24 PM

Sorry, that should be , you can walk over to the Rodin Museum & Gardens...where , of course, you will see a lot of Rodins :)

JeffreyJ Jun 28th, 2006 07:26 PM

Oh, and a last word, if I may...

There's a lot of stuff to see at les Invalides. I'd plan to spend no less than a full afternoon there, if I were you.

It's open late one night a week, I think...consult that French publication (what's the thing called? Gives all the museum hours and closures) that they sell at all the kiosks.

Christina Jun 28th, 2006 07:29 PM

I really like the military museum and I am not particularly interested in military stuff or war per se, just that I am interested in history. Napoleon's tomb wasn't of any particular interest to me, but as long as you are there, it doesn't take long.

In general, I think the question has an obvious answer. Nothing should be seen or is worth visiting if you aren't interested in it. This should be something you decide for yourself.

Scarlett Jun 28th, 2006 07:31 PM

Jeffrey, Pariscope?

www.pariscope.com

nessundorma Jun 28th, 2006 07:39 PM

I just wanted to add that I have a funnly little white bucket hat a friend of mine who is a painter made for me. It has printed on it:

ART IS A NOUN, NOT AN ACCOLADE




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