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The Relief Maps of King Louis XIV at the Palais des Invalides

From 01 July 2014 to 01 January 2020

A step back in history

The Museum of Relief Maps (Musée des Plans Relief) is located at the Invalides in the 7th arrondissement. It presents more than 100 historical models and hundreds of maps of forts and fortified cities. As a result, it represents more than two centuries of French military history.


These veritable cartographic jewels have their origin in the strategic plannings of the French military, enabling the coordination of troops during their sieges. They also reveal how fortifications were built at critical spots throughout the terrain.


The models were initially ordered by Louis XIV and proved to be even more useful than the maps that were being used at the time. Under Napoleon, the map collection grew to include Luxembourg, La Spezia and Cherbourg, among other cities.


Visitors can discover the France of another time as depicted by these relief maps. The maps provide views of French cities like you have never seen them before. They also allow you to understand how grand cities such as Paris were built around ports and fortifications. The museum is therefore a must-see for anyone interested in history.