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Napoleon’s Tomb

Napoleon's Tomb is located in the central crypt of the Eglise du Dome Church at the Hotel des Invalides, which is situated on the Esplanade des Invalides, within the 7th Arrondissement, in the city of Paris. The remains of the emperor, inside the sarcophagus, are protected by six concentric coffins, built from different materials, including mahogany, ebony, and oak, all one inside the other.

On May 5th 1821, Napoleon died on the island of St Helena, where he had been in exile since 1815. He was buried in the Geranium valley. His remains rested there until October 15th 1840.

In 1840 his remains were exhumed and brought to Paris, under the instructions of Louis-Philippe, who demanded that the English return the emperor to French soil. A state funeral was held, and the remains laid to rest in St Jerome's Chapel. The remains were moved in 1861 when the tomb was completed.

The tomb is crafted in red porphyry, and placed on a green granite base, it is circled by a crown of laurels with inscriptions, which act as reminders of the empires great victories. In the round gallery is a series of low relief, sculptures by Simart. A statue of the emperor, bearing the imperial emblems, is located at the back of the crypt.

This large church, built between 1679 and 1706 during the reign of Louis XIV, is famous for its magnificent dome, which is considered to be a typical example of baroque architecture. The dome's ceiling is decorated by frescoes representing Saint Louis and Christ. The exterior of the dome was gilded in 1715.

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In 1842, the architect Visconti had to redesign the church's high altar to accommodate the Tomb. The Domed Church also houses the sepulchres of two of Napoleon's brothers, Jerome and Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's son, the so called eaglet, and in more recent times the sepulchres of marshals Foch and Lyautey.

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