This is going to be a short post with a lot of pictures because honestly it was a long time ago… I’ve just been busy with stuff (as you probably know if you’ve been following my blog).
Anyway, on May 26th, 2014, I decided to do one final Paris adventure (for the time being, at least) and go to Invalides, the Museum of the Army (Arms museum?), which not only contains a lot of information/artifacts from the French military, but is also where the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte is found.
I didn’t end up going to Giverny due either to the weather or unavailability of my friends, so I decided to come here instead. I had no idea what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by the size and variety that the museum had – everything ranging from the middle ages to WWII.
I got in, waited for a pretty long time in line (about 20 minutes), before I finally got my free ticket to visit the museum!
The first part of the museum that I visited was filled with suits of armor – for kids, for men, for women – and it really made me appreciate how much work and really, artistry, goes into smithing.
There was also some weaponry in this room – swords and a lot of rifles, which pretty much summed up the rest of the museum, too.
The next room was the same – filled with armor and weapons.
The next couple of rooms were all showing pretty much the same thing – more weapons, from more regions.
Middle Eastern Weapons
After seeing so many suits of armor and weapons, I decided (probably quite wisely) that instead of going to yet another room full of weapons, I would go and take a look at Napoleon’s tomb.
It was located in a large church-like building, very regal
Beside the altar there was a set of stairs that led down to the actual entrance to Napoleon’s tomb.
Above them was the inscription:
“I desire that my ashes rest on the shores of the Seine, in the midst of this French people that I loved so much.”
I didn’t really see the point of taking another photo of the coffin, but while I was downstairs I noticed that the ceiling was actually incredibly beautiful as well (I wonder how they got all the way up there to paint that stuff??), so I snapped a quick shot.
After that, I visited another section of the museum that was concerned with slightly more modern military history (1800s and beyond).
There was another section, on a different floor, that had some large scale videos that described the military tactics used in various battles. I wasn’t too interested, but I did watch the end of one battle, the Battle of Fontenoy, May 11th 1745.
And that’s about it! There were a lot more guns and swords and spears on display, but I didn’t really bother taking more photos of the same stuff over and over again. After the museum I went to my friend Joe’s house to practice two exam dishes – the rabbit and the veal – and afterwards we Karaoked! Although personally I’m not a big fan of military history or ancient weaponry, I think that for anyone who is interested in the slightest, this museum is worth a visit. There’s something quite enchanting about walking through a dark corridor, surrounded by beautiful antique weapons and armor in glass cases, that’s almost soothing.
It’s also a stark reminder of how much money, time, and effort humans have wasted trying to kill each other.