The First World War tour at the Musée de l'Armée

Salle Première Guerre mondiale


There are several fascinating stages of your journey through the Musée de l'Armée and Hôtel des Invalides:

  • The First World War halls
  • The Dôme church: tombs of Marshals Foch and Lyautey
  • Historial Charles de Gaulle: De Gaulle in the Great War
  • The Renault FT-17 tank
  • Saint-Louis des Invalides Cathedral: heritage site
  • Hôtel National des Invalides: devoted to the memory of the Great War

The First World War halls

Dessins représentant Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 28 juin 1915

The halls devoted to the First World War are an essential introduction to your journey. Relive four years of battle from the origins with the 1871 defeat and lead-up to war in 1914 in the Alsace-Lorraine hall to the battle and its evolution with the Joffre, Les Poilus and Foch halls. View the presentation of the First World War halls

The Dôme church : tombs of Marshals Foch and Lyautey

The Dôme church is a must-see monument in the Hôtel National des Invalides and the Paris area. Inside the church around Napoleon I's tomb you can visit the tombs of two illustrious early-20th century and WWI marshals: Marshal Foch, Allied Supreme Commander of the Western Front, Marshal of France, England and Poland and Marshal Lyautey, War Minister from 1916 to 1917.

Next to the chapel where Marshal Foch lies, there's a commemorative plaque in memory of the Great War's soldiers mounted upon the death of the "last" infantryman in 2008, Lazare Ponticelli.
View the presentation of the Dôme church

Historial Charles de Gaulle : De Gaulle in the Great War

Learn about Charles de Gaulle's incredible life during the First World War in the heart of the Historial Charles de Gaulle. The young lieutenant from the 33rd infantry regiment was wounded three times during the war, left for dead in Verdun in 1916 then held prisoner in Germany from where he attempted to escape 5 times. He wasn't released until the 1918 Armistice.
View the presentation of the Historial Charles de Gaulle

Renault FT-17 tank

The Renault FT-17 tank, a symbol of the First World War's modernisation and mechanisation, is a relic of this wartime milestone. The tank is in the south-west corner of the Cour d'Honneur and is one of the museum's star items. It is an absolute must-see during your visit.
View the description of the Renault FT-17 tank (in French)

Saint-Louis des Invalides Cathedral : heritage site

Flags and standards hanging from the vaults of Saint-Louis des Invalides Cathedral epitomise an ancient tradition which endured throughout the First World War in its weapons and great battles. Banners numbered 87, 88 and 90 are from Germans beaten during the Great War. Number 89 is a Sharif Hashemite flag for Emir Faycal's supporters which was raised on the Grand Serail in Beirut (Lebanon) by a detachment under Colonel Piepape on October 7th 1918. This shows the international spread of the battle.
There is also a commemorative site for those who died in the Great War containing a plot of land.
View the presentation of the Saint-Louis des Invalides Cathedral

Hôtel National des Invalides : devoted to the memory of the Great War

There are numerous monuments and commemorative plaques related to the Great War throughout the entire Invalides site. There are several plaques in the upper gallery of the Cour d'Honneur. They pay tribute to the dead and the commemorative tradition surrounding the Great War. There is also a monument visible from the entrance to Place Vauban devoted "à la gloire des médaillés militaires morts au champ d'honneur" (English: in memory of soldiers who died in action). It was inaugurated in 1925 by President Doumergue in the presence of Marshal Foch.