The golden dome of Les Invalides makes an impressive focal point to the distant views of the north facade.  I prefer this glimpse over the rooftops.




The dome actually belongs to a chapel at the south side of the complex of buildings.  The Hôtel National des Invalides was founded in 1670 by Louis XIV as a military hospital and retirement home for veterans from the many wars of his reign.  After the completion of the medical and residential wings Louis decided that the veterans needed a chapel and should attend services every day.  Once the veterans’ chapel was complete the king decided that a grander royal chapel should complete the development.  The architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart clearly got the message that this building should not be easily overlooked.