Imagination Rules The World

Imagination rules the world.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

My architecture class is always surprising me. I had been to Invalides with some friends, but when I revisited with my class, it took on a totally different meaning. For example, I embarrassingly had no idea that Napoleon’s tomb was the Église Saint-Louis connected to the war museum.

Chapel Roof

Chapel Roof

The chapel was referred to by my professor as the most baroque building in Paris. Paris isn’t known for it’s extravagantly decorated buildings, and this building definitely strays from the pack. It’s gilding, marble, and detail all prove that it’s baroque.

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It’s the home to Napoleon’s tomb, a large wooden structure in a crater in the middle of its floor. It’s a huge tomb, which is pretty funny when thinking about Napoleon’s notoriously petit frame and the fact that he was cremated.

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Rumor has it, Napoleon requested that his tomb was placed lower than at the level of the spectators to ensure that people would always be bowing down to look at him.

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Interestingly, when Adolph Hitler came to Paris, he wanted to see the tomb of a man he so admired. He brought a mirror so that he could see the tomb without having to bow. However, he positioned the mirror in a way that caused his hat to fall off, consequently making him picking it up and “bowing.”

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Inundated with history, this chapel is a must see in Paris.

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