Church of the Invalides

Jules-Hardouin Mansart
begun before 1679-1691

This church is part of a large establishment built to house disabled veterans. Although it is generally classical in style, particularly in the rectilinearity of the lower facade, the church does have some Baroque elements. There is a dynamic movement toward the center, which culminates in the central pediment. (See, for example, Maderno's Santa Susanna rather than the "very" Baroque churches by Borromini or Bernini.) In addition, the dome has some surprises. Unlike St. Peter's dome, its loose model, it arranges the windows in an unusual way--with pairs and single windows alternating instead of a continuous row of windows separated by buttresses or piers. Normally a window would mark the main axis; here the main axis has a pair of columns that separates the paired windows. The lantern is a square in plan but it is rotated so that its corner marks the main axis.

The front facade with a strongly vertical emphasis; the dome

See also Place Vendôme.

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