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Nuit aux Invalides Summer 2016

20 May 2016


Enjoy a Night of Historic Spectacles Through Innovative Technology in Paris

Located in the 7th arrondissement, the Hôtel des Invalides is one of the most significant and historic areas in Paris. Its collection of renowned buildings and monuments are used to host multiple events throughout the year – the pinnacle festival being the Nuit aux Invalides, which will take place in 2016 between 14th June and 27th August. This is a celebration of France’s historic heroes as the nation’s most colourful events are brought to life through music, drama and 3D spectacles.

A Stunning Location with a Proud History

Originally built as a home for war veterans – much in the same way London has the Royal Hospital in Chelsea – the Hôtel des Invalides area has gathered significance over the years and come to symbolise France’s proud military history. Still used as a home for veterans, the complex also houses several churches, a burial ground for war heroes (including Napoléon Bonaparte) and several military and modern history museums. Visiting this venue during the daytime provides guests with a fascinating insight into France’s history.

Originating from the 17th century in parts, the building is of a beautiful baroque design and was commissioned by King Louis XIV to care for wounded and aged ex-servicemen. The stunning domed chapel is, perhaps, the most recognisable and striking aspect: with a classical, symmetrical frontage and opulent golden roof; the gilded spire points straight upwards into the heavens and can be seen from miles around.

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Hôtel des Invalides' famous golden dome

It is no wonder that this notable location is used for an array of commemorative events throughout the year and no period is quite so busy on its calendar than the summer months. From June to August, the buildings are open well into the night and welcome visitors from the world over to witness a rather special display of France’s past, unlike anything you’ll find in a school text book or museum’s vault.

A Night of Thrilling Spectacles in Magical Surroundings

Having missed a year of Nuit aux Invalides in 2015 due to building works being completed in the courtyard, the Hôtel des Invalides is ready to host again, fully restored and more charming than ever. For the Nuit aux Invalides, the exterior walls are used as a historical timeline to showcase some of the most famous moments in France’s past such as the Bastille riots, the Great War and the Liberation of France. Projections and 3D holograms are exhibited all around the grounds to show photos, portraits and reenactments of key scenes from history.

As well as important battles, sieges and treaties, the festival focuses on key French characters from their illustrious past such as King Louis XIV, Napoléon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle. You’ll watch as King Louis over-spends his country’s wealth on his extortionate, decadent lifestyle, building Versailles and lavishing gifts upon his influential friends and mistresses. Learn about Napoléon’s campaigns across 19th century Europe, toppling the Russian Empire and conquering lands never before owned by France. And explore what life was like in France during the Cold War under the resilient Charles de Gaulle.

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The walls of Hôtel des Invalides are used to project the display

The innovative echnology used to present these daring and instrumental stories is rather spectacular, making it a unique, sensory experience for visitors. The show lasts approximately 40 minutes and is narrated in English for a wider, tourist audience to access. This remains the largest scenography installation in the world, covering the entire length of the Hôtel des Invalides’ exterior. No matter how much or how little you think you may currently know about French history, this is the way for all members of the family to really see it brought to life in a breath-taking live show.

Come clear skies or rain, the show will go on! Having entertained 160,000 spectators to date, do not miss this exciting event when you visit Paris this summer. Pre-ordered tickets are 12.50 euros or can be purchased on the door for 13 euros, concessions are 9.50 euros or 10 euros on the door – follow the ticket link here.

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