St. Louis des Invalides
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Architect Jules Hardouin Mansart
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Location Paris, France   map
Date 1676 to 1691   timeline
Building Type hospital chapel
 Construction System cut stone bearing masonry and timber
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style French Renaissance
Notes Great domed space.


Photo, historical

Photo, historical

View from south


Axonometric Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing


More drawings available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated.

Discussion St. Louis des Invalides Commentary

"Les Invalides, Paris, was initially designed by Libéral Bruant (1635-97) as a hospital for disabled army veterans and completed by 1677. However, even before the completion, Louis XIV was planning a second chapel on a grander sale. In 1680 J.H. Mansart produced the final design for the Dome des Invalides, a Greek cross inscribed in a square with an attached circular presbytery. It differs from its model, S. Peter's in Rome (q.v.), in its adoption of a circular crossing with vast free-standing columns and diagonal passages to the corner chapels. Externally, a towering effect is achieved by the pointed profile of the dome, the steeple-like lantern and the unusual insertion of a tall attic above the drum. Of the three shells of the dome two are visible internally. A coffered dome with a very wide oculus opens onto a further frescoed skin, an idea which was later developed by Vittone at Vallinotto (q.v.).

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p948.

Sources on St. Louis des Invalides

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p148. — Available at

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. nine squares diagram, p188. — Updated edition available at

James Stevens Curl. Classical Architecture: an introduction to its vocabulary and essentials, with a select glossary of terms. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. ISBN 0-442-30896-5. NA260.C87. exterior photo of entry facade, f5.30, p120.

Sir Banister Fletcher. Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture. 18th ed., revised by J.C. Palmes. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975. ISBN 684-14207-4. NA200.F63. discussion, p915. drawings, p914.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. Boston: Butterworths, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p948.

Christian Norberg-Schulz. Baroque Architecture. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1986. ISBN 08478-0693-6. LC 85-30011. NA590.N6. axonometric drawing, f99, p84. plan drawing, f98, p84.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about St. Louis des Invalides


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