This chic district of Paris is the home of the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. Many old mansions built here in the 18th century now hold government offices. The Invalides were created under Louis XIV to come to the aid of old soldiers who had been forced into either panhandling or subsiding on church charity. So the institution of the Invalides was created in 1670 and quickly became home to a number of wounded soldiers.

The plans were carried out by Libéral Bruant, and construction was finished in 1676. The dome crowning the church is the work of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and is a perfect symbol of the splendor Louis XIV wanted under his reign. The Church of St. Louis des Invalides, whose construction predates the dome, is Hardouin-Mansart’s work as well, and many flags stolen from the enemy were hung here as decoration. The major historical event witnessed by the Invalides was the reception of Napoleon’s ashes on December 15th, 1840, now housed in a tomb designed by Visconti.

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