L'Hotel des Invalides

Cover page of Hotel des Invalides

Pérau, M. l’abbé, (Gabriel-Louis-Calabré), Description historique de l’Hotel royal des invalides (Paris: Chez G. Desprez, 1756)

Library Call Number: RA967.P47 1756

Gabriel Louis Calabré Pérau was a French author who is best known for his continuation of the multi-volumed “Lives of illustrious men of France”. This book is an architectural description of the complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris intended to serve as a hospital and retirement home for war veterans. The project was initiated by Louis XIV in 1670 and designed by Libéral Bruant in a baroque “wedding cake” style, with the later addition of a domed royal chapel designed by Jules Hardouin Mansart which dominates the building’s facade. Napoleon I was entombed under the dome in 1840. The complex continued to serve its original purpose into the twentieth century.

The building’s function as a veteran’s hospital inspired William III of England to found Greenwich Hospital in 1694. Its design was Thomas U. Walter’s inspiration for the domed United States Capitol building, which in turn is the model for many state and city buildings throughout the United States.

This book was acquired by ARC to support research in Architecture, History, and French Language Studies.