In the 7th arrondissement, not far from the Invalides and École Militaire Metro stations, is one of the most imposing building complexes in Paris, the National Hospital of Les Invalides (Hôtel National des Invalides). Founded in 1670 at the request of King Louis XIV to care for people made disabled in the war, it was designed by the architects Libéral Bruant and Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
Although this historic monument is still a working hospital and hospice to this day, it also encompasses several exhibition spaces, like the Army Museum, the Museum of Relief Maps and the Museum of the Order of the Liberation. Dedicated to French and European military history, the Army Museum contains a large collection of old arms and weaponry, as well as a department devoted to the two World Wars, along with a historical display about the life and works of General de Gaulle.
Open to the public, the majestic Dôme Church, which is now a military pantheon, contains beneath its splendid golden cupola the impressive tomb of Napoleon I, by Louis Visconti, as well as the tombs of Vauban, Foch, Lyautey and Turenne. Next door, the Classical-style Cathedral of St Louis, or soldiers' church, is now the cathedral of the French armed forces.
On the Seine side, in front of the north façade of Les Invalides, is the famous Esplanade des Invalides, an immense park with vast lawns created in the 18th century.