The tomb of French statesman and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte sits in St. Jerome’s Chapel (Chapelle Saint-Jérôme) at Les Invalides, a military museum housed in a former veterans hospital in Paris. Napoleon’s tomb sits at the center of the museum complex, surrounded by at least 500,000 war-related art works and artifacts.
Napoleon’s tomb lies in a 1600s chapel at the southern edge of the Army Museum (Musée de l’Armée). The museum houses nine permanent and temporary exhibitions in its central Cour d’Honneur building: artillery collections; arms and armor from the Middle Ages to World War II; figurines and musical instruments; and historical models of cities and military campaigns. The complex also contains more than 14 courtyards, a cathedral, and a café.
Breeze through the entrance with a skip-the-line tour of Les Invalides, a popular option for visitors with limited time in Paris. For an in-depth overview of Napoleon’s tomb, book a private tour of the museum complex. Hop-on hop-off bus passes are a convenient way to visit the museum and other Paris highlights, and offer a convenient way to sightsee without the stress of navigating.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Musée de l’Armée and Napoleon’s tomb are a must for history and military buffs.
- Le Carré, the museum’s on-site restaurant, offers a wide selection of lunch and bakery options.
- Les Invalides is often visited in conjunction with the Musée Rodin, just across the street.
- The museum complex is accessible to wheelchair users, and loaner wheelchairs available at the front desk. The accessible entrance is located at 6 Boulevard des Invalides.
How to Get There
Musée de l’Armée is in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, about a 20-minute walk east of the Eiffel Tower. The nearest metro stops are Invalides on lines 8 and 13, La Tour Maubourg on line 8, and Varenne on line 13. Alternatively, take bus 93 to Invalides.
When to Get There
Napoleon’s tomb and the museum are open daily from 10am to 6pm from April to October, and to 5pm November to March. Peak visiting hours are in the afternoon, so go in the morning for a quieter visit. Concerts in the Cathedral of Saint-Louis (Cathédral Saint-Louis des Invalides) are offered throughout the year; check online for a full calendar of events.
From Exile to Paris
Les Invalides became Napoleon’s final resting place only about 20 years after he died on the British island of Saint Helena. In 1841, the government decided to exhume Napoleon’s body from UK territory and give him a proper burial in France—in a political effort to unite the French people and increase the government’s popularity.