Bordered by the river Seine, the Gros Caillou, the Ecole Militaire, and Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin districts (“Quartiers”), the Quartier des Invalides is at the very heart of the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
Some of the most expensive real estate in the city can be found in this very chic district.
Many embassies and offices of the French government are located in this exclusive area, including Hôtel Matignon, the office of the Prime Minister.
The Hôtel national des Invalides was built in the late 17th century upon the request of King Louis XIV (the “Sun King”). Initially intended as a home and hospital for veterans, it now hosts a cathedral, one of the biggest museums of military art and history in the world, and – last but no least – Napoleon’s tomb. Surprisingly enough, portions of this historical place can be rented out as a very unique venue for your special events.
Among the many assets that make this area so special is the beautiful Esplanade des Invalides, the wide lawn lined up with trees from the Invalides buildings to the river. Originally a vegetable garden for the veterans, it boasted a large fountain in its center. During the 1900 World Fair (“Exposition Universelle”), the gorgeous Pont Alexandre III was inaugurated, spanning over the Seine to connect the Esplanade to the “Petit” and “Grand Palais”.
The works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin found a delightful home right next door to Les Invalides in the elegant Hôtel Biron. A former private house and garden from the 18th century, it was turned into one of the most charming museums of Paris.
Another surprising place to visit in this “quartier” is Palais Bourbon aka “Assemblée Nationale” – which is no other than the French version of the House of Representatives. Originally built for Louis XIV’s daughter, the palace has obviously changed destinations over time. Today, it even displays a selection of contemporary art pieces. Very few people, including Parisians, know that free guided tours are offered every week… to those who can obtain an invitation from their Representative (“Député”).
Fabulous private homes and apartments with incredible history are located in the Invalides district: see for yourself on the two photos below sampled from my listings…
For exclusive shopping and dining that can be found nearby, another article is in the works… stay tuned!