PARIS AND THE CHURCH - PART V
|Under a clear blue sky etched with vapour trails, the beautiful gilt dome of|
the Royal Eglise du Dome at Les Invalides stands forth in the early morning.
The civilised world had longed for the day when the little Corporal, Napoleon, who called himself Emperor, would be no more.He had been definitively defeated TWICE. He resurrected himself politically and militarily after the first defeat, but his imprisonment on Elbe after the second defeat put any further shennanigans out of the question. Nevertheless, it was not until his defeat by Death and the need for his burial that the world could breath easily.
|The gloriously ornate Dome of the Royal Chapel|
Paris had a location that the authorities decided was appropriate for the man whose personal glory had for a time been synonymous with the Glory of France. Les Invalides had been built at the instigation of King Louis XIV by an order given in 1670. The object had been to provide a hospital for retired and sick soldiers of the King's Army.The project was expanded as it was being built and itwas not completed until 1676.The design incorporated 16 courtyards.The idea of a Chapel for the veterans was then conceived and this was completed in 1679 and it was titled Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides.
|The Royal Chapel|
N.B. Note the size of the man in contrast to the size of the ornate doors!
Absurdly as it seemed he, an employee, was knocking on the colossal door to gain entrance!
The thing is preposterous especially for such a little man - it is as if the Allies had done it to ensure that the little so and so never got out again!
|The magnificent entry doors closer view.|
There is one final delightful significance about the thing, here are the remains of the little monster who brought death and destruction to millions, who sought to re-fashion the Church in France according to his personal whim and imprisoned and bullied two Popes, plundered the Eternal City and on and on, and where is he buried? In a hole at the foot of a truly grand Altar surmounted by the Cross of Christ ! Priorities more nearly right at last. But then, a number of members of Napoleon's family and the generals who served under him are also buried here. As if all the architects of Europe's misery should be honoured!
|"...and I will make Thine enemies Thy footstool...."|
THE TRIUMPH OF THE CROSS