Make your own way to Les Invalides on the banks of the Seine River in central Paris. Meet your art historian guide and set out on your private walking tour.
Hear how King Louis XIV commissioned Les Invalides in 1676 to provide accommodation to 4,000 disabled war veterans, and learn how it now incorporates several monuments and museums, including the tomb of Napoléon Bonaparte and Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum).
Admire the classical exterior and then explore the main museums, including the Musée de l'Armée and Musée des Plans-Relief (Museum of Relief Maps). Inspect the collections of armory and artillery drawn from the 13th to the 20th centuries, and view the scale models of fortified cities and towns showcased in the relief-map exhibition.
Learn the background to key exhibits and how in 1789, the mobs of the French Revolution broke into the building and stole the weaponry they used to storm the Bastille.
Stroll inside the St Louis-des-Invalides Cathedral, whose walls are hung with historical military banners, and see Napoléon’s tomb in the Dôme des Invalides (Dome Church). View the sarcophagus that holds the military leader’s six coffins and hear how his remains were transferred here in 1861 after his death in exile on St Helena.
Afterward, head along the Boulevard des Invalides to the Musée Rodin (Rodin Museum), where many sculptures and works by the great French artist Auguste Rodin are housed in an 18th-century mansion and gardens.
Follow your guide around the indoor and garden collections, and take in highlights such as the The Thinker and The Kiss as you gain insight into Rodin’s life and work.
Your tour then concludes at the museum.