October 10, 2011

0003, 2490 FRANCE (Île-de-France) - L'Hôtel des Invalides - part of Paris, Banks of the Seine (UNESCO WHS)

Built between 1670 and 1679 on the orders of Louis XIV and aiming to accommodate disabled military, L'Hôtel des Invalides now used in part the same purpose, but also the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church with the burial site for some of France's war heroes, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte. Baroque dome of the chapel of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides dominates the entire complex of buildings.

On the north front of Les Invalides, Hardouin-Mansart's chapel dome is large enough to dominate the long façade, yet harmonizes with Bruant's door under an arched pediment. To the north, the courtyard is extended by a wide public esplanade where the embassies of Austria and Finland are neighbors of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all forming one of the grand open spaces in the heart of Paris. At its far end, the Pont Alexandre III links this grand urbanistic axis with the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. The Pont des Invalides is next, downstream the Seine river. 

The Dôme des Invalides is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex. The dôme was designated to become Napoleon's funeral place in a law dated 10 June 1840. The excavation and erection of the crypt, that heavily modified the interior of the domed church, took twenty years to complete and was finished in 1861. Inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The interior of the dome (107m of height) was painted by Le Brun's disciple Charles de La Fosse with a Baroque illusion of space (sotto in su) seen from below.

The photo is made from extravagant Pont Alexandre III , which can be seen on the left side, including its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps. Both L'Hôtel des Invalides and Pont Alexandre III are part of the site Paris, Banks of the Seine, about which I wrote here.

About the stamp
The stamp is the same blue Marianne et l'Europe about which I wrote here.

Sender 0003, 2490: Marius Vasilescu 
0003: Sent from Paris (France), on 19.09.2011 
2490: Sent from Paris (France), on 31.01.2014
Photo: Marc Leconte

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