The museum holds more than 500,000 exhibits, such as weapons, armour, artillery, uniforms, decorations, paintings and sculptors which are displayed on an area of about 12,000 square meters. In the showrooms you can see military flags, dolls of soldiers and cavalry with their uniforms and weapons from various historic periods. Children who love cannons and knight armour will find it very fascinating here.
The museum is divided into two sides: The western side on the first floor displays weapons and equipment from China, Japan, India and Turkey. On the second floor you can view items from the 14th-18th centuries, and on the third floor you can see artillery. The eastern side contains displays from the days of Louis the 16th until the days of the Napoleon the third (floors two and three). Every floor is divided into rooms that showcase a different period of military and general French history, especially from the Stone Age until World War II. Between the two sides lies the Soldiers Church, which is part of the "Dom."
The museum also contains a detailed remake of Napoleon's private room from his house on the island of St. Helena, the same room in which he past away in 1821. By the way, in 2005, the museum celebrated its 100th anniversary at the inauguration of the renovated western side.
The compound was built in 1671, after the orders of king Louis the 14th. At the time, the government didn't take responsibility for damages that the wars caused to their soldiers that were sent to fight. In an extraordinary move the king decided to establish a compound for the disabled and wounded - a remarkable act worth mentioning. At the time the compound was called "The House of the Disabled" and sometimes there were more than 5,000 soldiers there. In fact, untill this day discharged soldiers live there.
The churches in the complex were also added during the reign of the king, who decided that a chapel would serve as a place of worship for the soldiers (the Church of Saint-Louis-de-Invalide) and a private royal chapel (the Dom Church).