Les Invalides is a rambling complex of buildings relating to France’s military history. More formally known as l’Hotel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), it was originally built as a retirement home and hospital for veterans. Construction of les Invalides began in 1670. The building, which was commissioned by Louis XIV, was designed by Liberal Bruant. Upon its completion in 1676, it was over 600 feet long and contained 15 courtyards. In 1679, a veterans’ chapel, Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides, also designed by Bruant, was added. Seeing no particular reason to mix with the veterans during religious services, Louis XIV commissioned a chapel for the exclusive use of royals. Jules Hardouin Mansart, who had assisted Bruant in the design of the veterans’ chapel, based his design of the royal chapel on Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The royal chapel (the Eglise du Dome) was completed in 1708.
Les Invalides served a variety of purposes for the next two hundred years. It was stormed on July 14, 1789 (Bastille Day) by revolutionaries who seized muskets and cannons and served as the site where Captain Alfred Dreyfus was stripped of his rank and later restored.
Although les Invalides still continues to house a few veterans, most of it has been converted into a military museum and mausoleum. Its most famous resident is a small-stature man with a very large sarcophagus.
Roads Although initial efforts at colonization often followed waterways, subsequent expansion took colonists into areas more difficult of access as traffic grew heavier. Urban Honolulu Map Tourist Attractions Road building, rather than trailblazing, became a necessity, and many new roads were laid out by surveyors rather than following native trails. In most of colonial Country, however, roads remained poor or virtually nonexistent. They frequently crossed private property, making it necessary to dismount and mount to open and close gates. Passage in wheeled vehicles over rocky country was jarring and unpleasant. Roads were also unmarked, making it easy for people to get lost. Bridges were uncommon owing to their expense, and crossing bodies of water was generally accomplished by ferries or fords. Differences between governments also hindered communications. A plan to institute a postal service between Boston and New York during the Second Dutch War came to nothing, partly because there was no road between these two major cities, one English and one Dutch. Once roads were built, they had to be maintained, and this responsibility fell to the local authorities. The British government took no responsibility for the state of roads, and even provincial assemblies usually deferred to local bodies.