Modern department, from Louis XIV to Napoleon III, 1643 - 1870

photo d'une salle du musée consacrée à Napoléon


Discover the military, political, social and industrial history of France through the ages in a number of themed spaces. Relive the great battles, learn about soldiers' lives, follow developments in technologies and tactics, and meet the figures who shaped this period.

The collections of this department constitute a quite unique set owing to both their diversity and the number of objects they contain: privates' uniforms, luxury weapons, equipment of numerous French and foreign regiments, arms, horse harnessing, orders and decorations, emblems, historical figurines, musical instruments and small-scale artillery models are shown alongside the personal effects of illustrious figures, such as Napoleon Bonaparte and his marshals. They are further illustrated by a remarkable collection of paintings made at the time of the events.

Discover the military, political, social and industrial history of France by visiting thematic rooms organized as a chronological itinerary. Relive great battles, discover the life of soldiers, follow the development of technologies and tactics and meet the figures who marked this period.

The old monarchy: from the battle of Rocroi to the french Revolution

Petit modèle d'artillerie

The reign of Louis XIV was a critical stage in French military history. It was marked by the formation of a standing army, which was heavily mobilised by the King's policy of conquest. The collections bear witness to the developments within the army and evoke the king's military entourage as well as the great battles and campaigns of conquest.

From the french Revolution to the Bourbon Restoration

photo d'une salle du musée consacrée à Napoléon

The collections related to Napoleon Bonaparte, his armies and his marshals are especially remarkable.

After going over the revolutionary upheavals, the itinerary presents the imperial campaigns - in Germany, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Russia, France, etc. - and the history of the corps and regiments which stood out during these campaigns (infantry, cavalry, cuirassiers, carabineers, etc.). Thematic rooms evoke a few specific aspects of the imperial epic, such as Napoleon's coronation, his field furniture, etc.

From the hundred days (1815) to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870

Photo d'une salle du musée consacrée à la période napoléonienne

In the 19th century, the successive regimes attempted to adapt and reform the military apparatus according to the national political situation and the main lines of national foreign policy. As regards operations, this period was marked in Europe by expeditions aimed at helping France resume a dominant position among European nations- Spain (1823), Italy (1859), etc. - and by the Franco - Prussian War of 1870-71.

The Vauban room, a themed area

Photo d'un défilé de cavaliers

On the ground floor, the Vauban Room - a former dining hall in the Hôtel des Invalides -displays a parade of fourteen cavalrymen, from the French Consulate to the Second French Empire, part of which comes from the studios of painters Ernest Meissonnier and Édouard Detaille, thus paying tribute to the history of the Army Museum and to that of its forerunner, the Musée Historique de l'Armée (Army History Museum) which both artists helped found.

The room is decorated with murals painted by Friquet de Vauroze in 1677 - 1678 and restored in 2009. They trace the main episodes of the Wars of Devolution (1667 - 1668).