Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hotel des Invalides

It was cloudy again when we awoke, and started pouring while we were eating breakfast. We figured that meant a good day for a museum!! here is our wet walk down Champs-Elyssees. It actually stopped raining after this and we never needed our umbrellas all day.

We walked down to the Hotel des Invalides, where there are several military-ish museums. Originally a type of veteran's hospital/residence, it is a beautiful and huge building which now houses, among many things, Napoleon's tomb. Here is the building, they just re-gold leafed the dome in 1989 with 28 lbs of gold leaf!
As I said, this is a military type of place, so there are thousands of cannon laying around all over the place. Inside, they were all labeled with the date and type that they were. To me, they were all cannons....but they have gone this lovely shade of green, so here they are:
I always think it is funny when there are shrubs cut into funny shapes. They had some of those, too. And lots of 'em!!
Then we went inside:
...and headed straight for Napoleon's tomb. It is hard to see in the picture, and I know his reputation is for being a little guy, but this coffin is Really Big, about the size/dimension of my kitchen! Could be because he is actually in SIX coffins. Two are lead and one is lined in lavender Corsican marble. That thing is not going anywhere!!! It is rather impressive and all the statuary and carvings and paintings all around are --I'm quoting the guidebook here because I am running out of adjectives--"sumptuous!"
Caroline and Miles were impressed with his frock-coat and hat. It looked like it might have fit Miles perfectly. I hope he wasn't counting on that coat keeping him warm in winter, it was pretty thin fabric...
Then we went to the Musee des Plans Reliefs, which had scale models of all the towns, harbors and forts along the coasts. We took this picture of the Chateau d'If for Aunt Cynthia because she is seriously the World's Biggest Alexander Dumas fan.
We traipsed through the WWI and WWII museum, and checked out all the uniforms, there are hundreds!! The French definitely looked the best out there on the battle field. The kids were getting a little fried, so we hung out and waited for Nick who could have spent all day in there. For our walk home, we took a bit of a roundabout way, through the garden, and past the Rodin museum, which we plan to visit soon. Came home and relaxed, had a light dinner, and got to bed at a reasonable hour for the kids, which is funny, because we are now considering midnight a reasonable hour!!

No comments: