Chelsea Flower Show
Paris and London

Hotel des Invalides, Eiffel Tower, Boat Bus


Monday was our free day and I sure made use of this time, as did our group. I headed out early to walk to the Hotel des Invalides, a beautiful building designed as a refuge for old and invalid soldiers. This also houses the tomb of Napoleon I. This starts off with the building that has the two cannons standing by the moated wall. It is a huge building, said to house 4,000. I took a lot of these photos for Tom, who is very interested in this type of history. The cannons are works of art in themselves, as you can see. There is one shot of a church organ – this is from the church of St. Louis. Rather dark, but you can still see, is the hearse of Napoleon. ‘Like those of an Egyptian pharaoh, the remains were contained in six coffins: the first of tin, the second of mahogany, the third and fourth of lead, the fifth of ebony and the sixth of oak. These were then placed in the huge sarcophagus of red granite’. I left the people there so you could get an idea of how large this really was….the inside painted and gilded dome that you see here is looking up from the hearse.



From there I walked over to the Eiffel Tower. The first shot is from the backside of it coming through a park. The next nine shots are from the very top, over 1000 feet up in the air. Since it was early in the morning, some haze is still in the air but I think you can get the idea of the view around. The next shot is looking up at the last bit of the Eiffel Tower, which you cannot get up to. The last two are back on ground now and looking up at the cables used to haul the elevators up and down.



I decided to take the boat bus back down the Seine and here are a few shots of the view along the way. Even as it was a cloudy and spitting rain day, there were still lots of people out and about. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped at the decadent bakery of Fochon and picked up the most wonderful almond croissant. I then visited the Eglise Sainte-Marie Madeleine, just across the street from our hotel. This beautiful church was built in the style of the Pantheon. It took 85 years to build and King Louis XV laid the foundation stone August 3, 1763. This church is unique in that there are no windows, just 4 large domes on the top of the building – yet very bright even on a dull day. The bronze doors weigh 3.2 tons and are higher than St. Peters in Rome. Frederic Chopin’s funeral was here in October 30th, 1849. 3000 people listed to the Mozart Requiem performed by the Paris Music Academy choir and orchestra for the first time in a church in Paris.













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