Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Les Invalides at night


It's been a while since I posted a touristy photo, so here you go! I took it Saturday evening, on my way back from the 7th arrondissement where I had dinner. This beautiful building is called Les Invalides, and it was built in 1674 to shelter wounded and old soldiers. In 1676, it was decided to add a church to the building (you can see its dome in the middle). Today the Invalides is still a hospital (it's been renewed since it was built!) and a museum where you can see Napoleon's tomb.

75 comments:

  1. Am I the first one? Beautiful photo with a fantastically lit up building on a very dark sky. I miss Pariisss....

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  2. I have never seen this dramatic point of view at night, it's beautiful. I wish to let the other people who can't pronounce French like me, know that it isn't Invalid eez, but Onvalee. I got nowhere fast with my first pronounciation. Another embarassing moment to add to the millions.If this isn't correct, please let us know.

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  3. I THOUGHT something was wrong with my English, so I asked Professor(of English)PHX and he said "who can't pronounce French as I can't"...who needs to go back to school when I have him! Now, I need some French speakers around me,too!

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  4. Great night shot!

    But why isn't there a French flag on top of the building? ;)

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  5. Very pretty. Touristy, yes, but I like it, too. (Irish Spring commercial.) Actually, there's nothing "touristy" about a beautiful building, painting, bridge, place, river, woman, ...

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  6. phx-cdg,
    If you go to this link
    http://www.forvo.com/word/les_invalides/
    and if you have speakers hooked up to your computer, you will hear the standard pronunciation in French.

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  7. This is why we love Paris--because this is "Typical Paris." Lovely, lovely shot, Eric, thank you.

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  8. Can't say I've been to Les Invalides but perhaps in the near future. Great photo at night! BTW, maybe you should have your PDP picnic in full view of a Parisian webcam. Then again...the wine might be flowing too heartily and.... ;-) Have enjoyed Jeff's enthusiasm as he gets ready to depart the States. Am thoroughly jealous.

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  9. Awesome photo! I love the lit-up building against the amazingly dark sky. You must have been out late at this "dinner" Eric since there's not a person or car in sight! I like how the stripe in the street looks a little like a person walking.

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  10. I Adore the beautiful lights against tthe dark night sky. Its so beautiful...

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  11. LOL Katie it does!

    Eric this is stunning. I don't see touristy i see beauty. I enjoyed the history too. How come it's so empty? You must have been a dirty-stop-out that night? (really late)

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  12. Beautiful night photo, and yes, if I were visiting Paris, I would like to see Napoleon's tomb.

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  13. And this is not far from Cole Porter's home, which we would also like to see sometime (hint, hint).

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  14. Aw, I remember it well -- when I would be walking home from a party and concert (located under one side the Pont Alexandre III). I always came home late. It was quite -- I could hear my hi-heels on the pavement. There is a good Russian restaurant close by. If you like caviar.

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  15. Are you sure this isn't The Pantheon? (Just teasing about the 12 FÉVRIER 2008 posting). The white street stripes look like the Chinese/Japanese character for man or person, like: "That Napoleon, he de MAN."

    I can't help every time looking at the dome and remembering that the color isn't a trick. There are 26 pounds (11.8 kilos) of gold up there.

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  16. Great nighttime photo, Eric !

    (Will you be posting some "touristy" photos inside the cathédrale Saint-Louis-des-Invalides et son dôme?)

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  17. I read about the tomb of Napoleon, went to see it. It was cold! Seriously cooler than the outdoor ambient. Really gave me the wrong kind of chills. Beautiful, would have loved to get access to the church inside. But I don't think I need to go in there again.

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  18. Amazing. How lucky you were to have it all to yourself.

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  19. Thanks, Lois, this is exciting! I hope it works as I tried Petra's link the other day for a translation of Jeff's and I couldn't do it, problem child that I am.

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  20. Eric, merci. Les mots ne sont pas assez pour traduire la beauté de ça photo.

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  21. Les Invalides houses a wonderful museum on World War II as well, in a different wing than the tomb of Napoleon. As an American studying abroad in France at the time I visited the exhibit, it was interesting to see the French perspective.

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  22. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The reason a particular spot becomes "touristy" is generally because it's beautiful, well love, has a fascinating history, etc. Often it's timeless. Still, some people can take a touristy photo very badly. Eric dear, you take it with style and class and it's all the more beautiful it (and your artistic eye)!

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  23. well loved, not well love. Sorry, I'm in class and working on an activity right now.

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  24. I love visiting here! The museum is well worth a visit, and the tomb is imposing. There is also a beautiful little park around the right hand side (facing) with a bust of Antoine de Saint Exupery. Thank you, Eric, for the photo!

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  25. Such a beautiful photo!! It is just one of the reasons that I want to visit Paris so much. That is a hospital!! Hospitals here are so boxy, ugly, and "functional". There is much to be said for a beautiful building surrounding you to make you feel better!

    Merci, Eric!

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  26. Sorry, phx, I can't find the link. Anyone have the "beu deu geu deu, pff" link handy?

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  27. Voici!
    http://frogwithablog.com/2007/03/23/learn-french-in-5-minutes-and-36-seconds-thanks-to-fwab-tv/

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  28. I like a good touristy photo now and then Eric!

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  29. When I think of Paris, the first thing that gets to my mind is golden light. Somehow in my memory Paris is golden and this beautiful picture confirms it.
    It's not touristy it's just very much PARIS.

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  30. Wow...
    It is another fantastic shot, isn't it?

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  31. A little history, a little beauty, references to food and Napoleon - I guess that's typical Paris. I'm starting to understand.

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  32. Les Invalides is undoubtedly a grand and dignfied building during the day, but at night it is truly glorious.

    Which is a little at odds with all the scenes of suffering and death its walls have witnessed; but not, of course, at all out of keeping with Napoleon's self-aggrandizing use of public ceremony, state art, and (as in this case) military architecture and monuments. Things are different when one enters, however. When one stands next to long-silent canons, or on flagstones that once ran with blood, it is hard not to feel the discordance between the beauty of the building and the horrors it once housed.

    On the other hand, the finely-tuned symmetry of this photograph and its nocturnal quietude give this otherwise tragic monument a certain majestic glow, reminding us that Libéral Bruant and Jules Hardouin Mansart were by vocation men of art, and only by commission a men of war.

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  33. Beautiful photo! I have many memories of walking by Les Invalides as I stayed not far from there for quite a while. What resto were you at Eric? Lot's of good restaurants in the 7eme.

    Did you know the dome at the San Francisco City Hall is a replica of the dome of Les Invalides?? Minus the cross. The caviar restaurant mentioned by Lois is Petrossian I believe, on Blvd de la Tour Maubourg.

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  34. This one is amazing...The dark sky is so impressive.
    But, no cars? Tell us the truth, what time was it?

    Well, I have to admit that I've never been to Les Invalides. To put it on my TO-DO list? Yes, you're right Monica ;).

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  35. Great new profile shot, Guille. Is it time we all changed ours too again? LOL.

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  36. I visited Les Invalides during my semester in Paris. The museum there fascinates me as well as Napoleon's tomb. One of the guards was telling us about the many layers of the tomb and I asked why they did that. The guard's answer: "So he doesn't come back again!"

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  37. I hate to mention a work of art I can't create a link to, but there simply doesn't seem to be one for the monument to Napoleon near Dijon: a sculpture that depicts Napoleon rising from the dead to resume his imperial exploits (one assumes). If I am wrong, and someone does have a photo or a link . . . Well, you know what to do.

    It is, however, referred to in 'Napoleonic Art: Nationalism and the Spirit of Rebellion in France (1815-1848)', by Barbara Ann Day-Hickman - an extract of which you can read online for free.

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  38. Marcia: I guess you never know! He might, lol.

    This photo is just stunning. Perfect. Or as you French say: parfait (correct?).

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  39. Ok i'll see what i can do Guille. he he! I think Eric's will be the same when he's 102 !

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  40. he he Lynn and Guille.
    You girls keep changing your profile photo here and telling us to do the same. I guess I'm too lazy to do it!

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  41. awsome picture I love night shots of places.
    Thanks for the great pic
    Google Me Micharl I Jackson

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  42. Lynn, je compte sur toi. You're probably right about Eric...so bad.

    Come on Monica! You have such great pictures of you on Fb! (no, I'm not talking about bikini marks or something LOL).

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  43. Eric, your phot is perfectly stunning!

    Does anyone know if it is possible to enter the church proper, which always seems to be locked behind those beautiful golden gates?

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  44. Jeanne
    Les Invalides is not a church but a military history museum. Part of it is also a home for ex soldiers (please correct me if I am wrong).
    You can visit it and see Napoleon tomb. He is not the only one burried there.
    The archtecture inside is magnificent and is a must for anyone visiting Paris.

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  45. Thank you for posting this beautiful "touristy" photo. I jet off to Paris in 2 more days and look forward to seeing all of the fabulous sites and even a few not-so-fabulous as well. It has been great fun to watch this blog in anticipation of my second trip to France.

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  46. Yeah Monica...the "The King and I" one ;)
    That would make everyone so so so jealous!

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  47. Lovely photo from a great perspective. Glad some scooter didn't run you down -:)

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  48. My goddess, Eric, you have a beautiful city! This is just gorgeous!

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  49. As I recall, there are two churches within Les Invalides. The big dome (St. Louis?) includes Napolean's tomb. Behind this church is the soldiers' church, but I can't remember the name. The two are very different. And yes, the museum about WWII is fascinating, and I normally am not enthralled by war museums. It gives a different perspective compared to American museums and history.

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  50. tonton_flaneur,
    I didn't know the dome at the San Francisco City Hall is a replica of the dome of Les Invalides. Merci, merci, merci. Do you think it has the same quantity of gold on the dome?

    Yes, you are right, the caviar restaurant I mentioned is Petrossian on Blvd de la Tour Maubourg. Every once in a while I get a craving for Russian food and caviar.

    Great photo of you Guille. Charming.

    Marcia, Thank you for sharing what the guard told you. That was interesting, and, funny too.

    phx-cdg, Did that link work for you?

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  51. Lucio, you put it so beautifully into words.

    Jeanne, there is a church/chapel there but when I was there it was also closed. (Sorry Rose.) I wish I could answer the question. It looked lovely.

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  52. Just heard on a documentary that Napoleon was 5 ft 6inches tall (average height for the day), but he was often depicted smaller in stature by his enemies and critics and thus the "tiny ruler" persona was passed down. Anyone else heard of this?

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  53. Coltrane_lives, When studying the art of David, the text books said that David was requested by Napoleon to always paint him as being tall. For example, the paintings of Napoleon on horse back. David was requested to make the horse appear smaller than in real life. Propaganda of the day.

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  54. Tall Gary : that is funny you remembered Eric's mistake in his 12février 2008 post!! Le Dome des invalides from the top of the Montparnasse Tower instead of the Panthéon (I could have done the same mistake, for sure, and I remember this post very well too, as I think I have become a "PDP addicted person" since -at least- this period...). Time flies ...
    Obviously, this photo today is beautiful. Since ever, I have been in love in Paris by night.

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  55. I'm sooo depressed, Lois. After spending an hr. enjoying the pronunciations on Forvo, it is a wonder ANYBODY in Paris understands anything I say.I have to unlearn so much, including Invalides. This is still a big thank you!
    You, too, Jeff!

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  56. The south side of Hotel des Invalides leads to St-Louis-des-Invalides or the "Soldiers' Church" which is in front of the magnificent Dome church of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, which was built as Louis XIV's private chapel. The dome was regilded in 1989. Strangely enough, this is the same year of the Loma Prieta quake in San Francisco, which brought about the regilding of the duplicate dome on our city hall.

    I highly recommend a visit to the Musee de l'Ordre de la Liberation, which is also here and is devoted to the wartime Free French and their leader General Charles de Gaulle. It is absolutely fascinating!

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  57. Beautiful night shot, and building as well. Excellent composition, well done.

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  58. Agree with a previous comment that you have been lucky (or very patient) to have it for yourself, without car. Great photo ! Loic
    http://brohardphotography.blogspot.com
    http://www.photo.net/photos/Loic Brohard

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  59. I woke up @2 am to take this photo and make sure there was no traffic!

    OK, no, I'm just kidding! I was patient, that is true...

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  60. ...you wrote it was on your way back from dinner in the 7th... might have been a late dinner. I guess you don't go out for dinner with your tripod... which means you have even more merit with the outcome of this photo ! Loic http://brohardphotography.blogspot.com
    http://www.photo.net/photos/Loic Brohard

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  61. Petrea: Thank you! I'm touched.

    I guess it's always easier to find the right words when you have the right subject, and I definitely wasn't without one on this occasion, so some of the credit must go to Paris - and, of course, to our "man on the street", Eric.

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  62. *Ooops, je crois que la dernière phrase de mon commentaire (9.07pm) est une coquille : je voulais dire que depuis toujours, je suis amoureuse de Paris la nuit (Comme beaucoup, sûrement). Et je pense que j'ai dû dire quelque chose comme 'Depuis toujours, je suis amoureuse à Paris, la nuit' ...!! Bon ça peut arriver aussi mais c'est une autre histoire...;) Sorry!!!

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  63. Guille and Rose, I´d have to get Eric´s permission to put the photo here. Although I didn´t ask his permission to put that photo on FB... maybe he will be mad...hope not!

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  64. I meant to say you were fortunate to have it to yourself - not lucky as in patience and talent had nothing to do with it. It is obvious how talented you are, blah, blah, blah. ;)

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  65. Corinne:'Depuis toujours, je suis amoureuse à Paris, la nuit' ...!! Bon ça peut arriver aussi mais c'est une autre histoire..

    LOOOOOL. Some girls have all the luck.

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  66. I thought they were just chapels in the hospital/museum
    I stand corrected...
    There you go Jeanne... there are churches in Les Invalides :)...

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  67. This is a fantastic shot of a beautiful building! Thank you.

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  68. You may discover that I have the tourist side of Paris covered for my Tuesday's entries.

    Just five days ago, my wife and I were standing right on this very spot. Beautiful city, your Paris.

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  69. I also must add, I regret not packing my tripod for our trip to Paris. So many beautiful city lights to take photos of, but difficult to hand hold.

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