Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Pantheon and Napoleon´s tomb at Les Invalides

Last day I made a mistake about Napoleon´s tomb: it´s not located at the Church of Sainte Geneviève, transformed in the Pantheon for illustrious French citizens, but at the Church of Les Invalides.  The Church of Les Invalides was built by Mansart in French Late Baroque style and the Church of Sainte Geneviève was built by Soufflot in New Classicist style. 

Former Church of Sainte Geneviève, Soufflot, (1758-1790)

This is the former Church of Sainte Geneviève, transformed into a secular mausoleum in 1791. Some of the distinguished French figures buried there were Mirabeau, Voltaire, Marat, Rousseau,  the explorer Bougainville, the mathematician Lagrange and the writers Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. Here you have the complete list of men buried there (not even one woman): 

Napoleon´s tomb is located in the Hôtel National des Invalides, a complex of buildings related to the military history of France that includes the Museum of the Army and a hospital for war veterans. Napoleon´s remains are there since 1840, when King Louis Philippe of Orléans and his prime minister Adolphe Thiers decided to bring his corpse back to France from the island of Saint Helena, where Bonaparte had been exiled in 1815 and died in 1821. The process of bringing back Napoleon´s remains to France was called the retour des cendres (return of the ashes). Napoleon didn´t rest in his definitive tomb until 1861, when the works ended in the Church of Les Invalides. Here you have a short history of he tomb: 

And this is a complete list of the military men buried together with Napoleon: 

And these are some pictures of Les Invalides complex: 

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Aerial view of Les Invalides complex

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Chapel of Saint Louis of Les Invalides, built by Mansart at the end of the 17th century

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Napoleon´s coffin

All the pictures from

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