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"best museum in Paris" Topic

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586 hits since 8 Nov 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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redbanner414508 Nov 2018 4:12 p.m. PST

My first trip to Fraqnce is coming up and I expect to have one free day in Paris. What museum is the best for the Napoleonic period?

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 4:44 p.m. PST

Les Invalides. Uniforms, models of Vauban fortresses and the Man himself.

Glengarry508 Nov 2018 4:53 p.m. PST

Les Invalides

Nick Bowler08 Nov 2018 4:59 p.m. PST

Get to the models of the fortresses at Les Invalides. They were fantastic. From memory they are at the top of the museum.

There is a museum of uniforms that is separate from Les Invalides. Finally, on some evenings they have volunteers doing tours.

Sergeant Paper08 Nov 2018 5:56 p.m. PST

As stated above, one day interested in Napoleonics – Les Invalides.

GROSSMAN08 Nov 2018 6:52 p.m. PST

Make sure you see Napoleons horse. it's in rough shape but cool. It's very small for a horse. Also they close parts of it off to repair and upgrade so check and see what they are working on. My buddy went there just to see the fortress exhibit and the whole floor was closed.

Cyrus the Great08 Nov 2018 7:52 p.m. PST

Les Invalides.

JLA10508 Nov 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Les Invalides.

advocate08 Nov 2018 11:26 p.m. PST

What they all said. For 'one museum' there is no competition.

Prince of Essling09 Nov 2018 1:48 a.m. PST

Agree Les Invalides is an absolute must, but if you have time it is worth a trundle to Versailles to see the gallery of the great battles with all the large size battle paintings. link also video at YouTube link

londoncalling09 Nov 2018 2:32 a.m. PST

Having never been to Les Invalides is it on a par with say IWM London ? Given that I am only up the road from St Pancras I could get a cheap eurostar to Paris for the day. Is it worth it just for that ?

Trajanus09 Nov 2018 3:37 a.m. PST

Very hard to compare the two. In fact the IWM make over a while back takes them further apart. Not because it was bad but because it makes them even more different.

To do Paris in a day you want an early start to maximise time on site but it's a bucket list museum. Maybe not as great as it thinks but if can do it, do it!

londoncalling09 Nov 2018 4:13 a.m. PST

Thanks Trajanus. I haven't seen the IWM makeover as I have been there so many times over the years. If I go then it would be really be just to see the museum.

von Winterfeldt09 Nov 2018 4:48 a.m. PST


very different – a whee bit like the old BAM at Chelsea – but huge in comparison, yes Les Invalides without any doubt, in case you have some time left – the much underrated museum at Trocadero

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 5:34 a.m. PST

Agreed – the Musee de l'armee at Les Invalides is an amazing place and well worth a visit

I have not seen the new IWM so hard to compare but it compared nicely with the pre-reno IWM

Brechtel19809 Nov 2018 5:48 a.m. PST

Les Invalides and don't miss the gift shop. There is an excellent selection of Napoleonic titles.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 7:22 a.m. PST

Napoleon's Tomb is adjacent and a must obviously. Much more impressive than you might imagine.

The gallery of cavalry through the ages is a wonderful intro, on the left as you enter. There is many a cannon and limber/caisson in the courtyard, but the real treat is the Napoleonic Era gallery. Personally I love the Restoration uniforms in their case. Rarely seen and perfectly preserved (not surprising, as only ever saw parade use….and that was short lived. Bring a compact camera and ideally a mini tripod (lighting must be subdued), obviously no flash and it would not work anyway. The Waterloo section has almost nothing other than a very dodgy audio-visual display. The exception is of course the Carabinier's Cuirasse. Quite who really was wearing it, I doubt he did well.

Good point about partial closures for renovations. Once went and found the cavalry gallery closed (two years or more) another time the Waterloo room. The fortress exhibition languished in a closed top floor for decades.

Eurostar, when all is working well, is just marvellous if you are already so close to St P's. One day consider Brussels and see their museum, plus there is the remains of a ridge about ten miles south……

Trajanus09 Nov 2018 9:56 a.m. PST

Another must see – although not in Paris and definitely not do able in a day is the Museo del Ejército in Toledo.

If anyone is ever in that part of Spain, its architectural concept and content is outstanding. Even my wife was impressed and she's seen a few museums, including Les Invalides on our honeymoon!

I've always been romantic!

Lambert Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 12:25 p.m. PST

The Musee de'l'armee at Invalides is fabulous. The Napoleonic section is worth the visit on its own and there is much more if you're interested in other periods. Also a collection of toy soldiers that is worth seeing. You won't be disappointed.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 1:44 p.m. PST


You have my respect. First I would love to visit historic Spain…and not the coastal bits that attract the English.

But then I have dragged she who must be obeyed across the fields of Waterloo and thrice through Les Invalides. Trust me, those with XX chromosomes will love the latter. Mine did. She was captivated by the cavalry ammo pouches, the cartouches , from the Restoration cavalry of Maison du Roi. They are apparently little handbags (US "Purses") to die for.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 1:53 p.m. PST


You have my respect. First I would love to visit historic Spain…and not the coastal bits that attracts the English.

But then I have dragged she who must be obeyed across the fields of Waterloo and thrice through Les Invalides. Trust me, those with XX chromosomes will love the latter. Mine did. She was captivated by the cavalry ammo pouches, the cartouches , from the Restoration cavalry of Maison du Roi. They are apparently little handbags (US "Purses") to die for.

redbanner414510 Nov 2018 5:45 p.m. PST

Thank you all. I know where I'm going.

John Tyson12 Nov 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

My favorite story of Les Invalides.

My friend, Bernie, and host in Paris, July 2018, went to Les Invalides. I wanted to buy Bernie's ticket as thanks for being such a gracious host, so I went up to the nice ticket lady, gave her my Euros, and not being able to speak French, I tried to be polite and yet make a favorable connection…

Me: "Bon Jour. We are just two old American soldiers who would like to buy two tickets, please."

Ticket Lady: "Monsieur, do you have your soldier's identification?"

Me: (Confused) "Yes." (I showed the kind lady my US Military retired ID card.)

Ticket Lady: (Turning to Bernie) "Monsieur, do you have your soldier's identification?"

Burnie: (Confused also) "Oui." (Bernie showed his US Military retired ID)

The kind ticket lady then handed me back my money and gave me two tickets…no charge.

Bernie and I both thanked the kind ticket lady but the ticket lady stopped us and said,
Ticket Lady: "No monsieurs. We thank you."

Bernie and I (we're both in our 70's) were both blown away by the graciousness of the French toward two old American soldiers!

Thanks for listening to my Les Invalides story.

God bless,
John T.

18CTEXAN12 Nov 2018 8:10 a.m. PST

GREAT STORY John T.!…….and I also would like to thank yawl for your service!
Cheers from Texas!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2018 9:05 a.m. PST

The story goes that the Parisians are incredibly rude and aggressive towards tourists…and each other possibly.

I have found a smile and an attempt to speak their language, however amateur the latter, usually works wonders.

I am very impressed that they extend this benefit to those who served in armies of other countries, however much allies. Not sure UK would offer that…

It is a great story and I just love her final line.

Royal Marine12 Nov 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

This is a great story, well done 'Les Invalides'. I think UK experiences are very mixed. I'm still serving and hence can get into a lot of areas with some form of discount, although never had any 'freebies' offered. I do ask everywhere I go for any military discounts and am often disappointed.

I've just been to Paris on a work trip, daily commuting and work does make any city grumpy. But with a little effort people are friendly and helpful.

We have just completed our annual 'Remembrance Services' on 11th November and walking around in dress uniform is always a good experience – although it always seems a bit tighter than the year before! We still payed full price in the coffee shop afterwards though.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2018 9:53 a.m. PST

Obviously Les Invades has to be your first choice. If you've extra time and enjoy naval don't overlook the Maritime Museum:

Another one well worth visiting is the cemetery of Pere Lachaise;


The cemetery contains the graves of the following marshals:

St. Cyr,

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