Posted by: Marco | August 17, 2010

Napoleon’s Tomb – WOW!

On Monday morning, after a rainy, lazy Sunday, we headed to Hôtel des Invalides. The Hôtel was a hospital built by Louis XIV to  care for soldiers wounded in his wars. It is a huge sprawling complex. Today, it houses the Musée de l’armée and, more famously, Napoleon’s tomb. The south face of the Hôtel is the Église du Dôme, with its guilded tomb. Inside is a very solemn space with several large sarcophagi nestled in antichambers on the perimeter of the circular space. In the center of the space, directly below the dome, lies Napoleon’s tomb. Located in the crypt, one story below the main floor of the church but it can be viewed through a large circular hole in the floor. A set of marble stairs at the rear of the church, takes you to the circular crypt that houses, reverently, the huge red quartzite sarcophagus of the great general and emperor Napoleon I. It is a most impressive tomb. Around the circular arcade that surrounds the tomb are twelve statues of France watching over him. On the walls are relief carvings depicting all the great things he did for France. When in Paris, it is NOT to be missed.

The Musée de l’armée is a great military museum, if you like that kind of stuff. It houses a very extensive collection of armour and weapons, uniforms, and paintings. It gets a little overwhelming after awhile, even for me. Some highlights: children’s armour, some believed to belong to Louis XIV; horse armour, crazy helmets, and Napoleon’s horse stuffed and mounted!

Stinky fun in the Paris sewers

After a futile search for a dry picnic area and a grocer at which to buy fruit, we settled for a warm and dry café (mini chocolate croissants and café latté!) Then it was off to the Sewer Museum. Near the Seine river, you can pay the entrance fee and descend into the bowels of the Paris sewer system to read about and observe first hand the treatment of storm water….no real yucky stuff here. It is a fascinating story of water and waste dating back to roman times.We even got to see real rats down one of the roped off feeder sewers. It was worth the 14€ fee.

Another leisurely stroll brought us to the Tour Eiffel, l’École Militaire, and then a walk back to our apartment via Rue St Germain. On this street, I was tempted by vintage posters of Air France (only 2300€) and lovely leather shoes (only 1400€).

‘Twas another grand day in this grand cité. Check out the PHOTOS.

Carpe annum,

Marco

Stinky fun in the Paris sewers

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