If you happen to be in Paris during summertime, you should not miss the chance to see La Nuit aux Invalides. This night light and sound show, taking place in a beautiful building full of History, is a memorable experience.
Before introducing "La nuit aux Invalides" show, let's sum up what is Invalides and why this building is emblematic in Paris.
Les Invalides, located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, was created by the famous French King Louis XIV in 1671, as a "House of the disabled", a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history: on 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day.
But the place is mainly renowned for being the place where Napoleon is buried. He was entombed under the Dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. Since 1905, les Invalides hosts the French Army Museum. If you want to know more about Invalides, you can have a look at our other article by clicking here.
La Nuit aux Invalides (Night at the Invalides) is an extraordinary immersive experience, created by Amaclio Productions. This year it is the 10th edition of the show. It is what French people call a "Son et Lumières", "sound and light" show: special lighting effects are projected onto the façade of the Invalides synchronized with recorded narration and music to dramatize the history of the place.
If you are not familiar with the French language, it's better to get the headset in English, after showing your entrance ticket (you need to book in advance the headset: find booking tips later in the article).
The show evokes the History of the building and the evolution of its role during the past 3 centuries. But it mainly focuses on Napoleon's life, and also on some major events of the French military History.
It's an immersive experience and you feel completely absorbed by the show, sound effects are perfectly synchronized to projection effects in a very artistic and creative way.
The show takes place every summer, usually from early July to mid-September. It takes place every night: it starts at 10:30 p.m in July, 10 pm in August and September. The doors open one hour before. It lasts for about about 50 minutes.
It's better to arrive earlier to get the best seats. The front seats offer you the best view of the main building. However, since the lights are on three sides of the building, it can also be a good idea to be more backward, to have a better overview of the show.
You can book the show tickets directly on the dedicated website (click here).
You can choose between standing reservations (18,99€ for full fare tickets) or sitting reservations with chairs (25,99€). You can book headsets for the English translation by paying 5,99€. If you choose standing reservations, do not hesitate to bring a cushion to sit on the floor, for a more comfortable experience.
Les Invalides are pretty central and easily accessible with public transportations. The closest Metro stations are La Tour-Maubourg (line 8) and Varennes (line 13), and also the RER Station "Invalides" (ligne C).
We hope that this article was useful and that you will have a chance to see this amazing show during your summer holidays in Paris!
Author and photos: O'bon Paris team