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Forgotten History: Musée de Plans-Reliefs (Paris)

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Hidden away up on the 4th floor of the Paris Army Museum (in Les Invalides) is the rather unexcitingly-named Musée de Plans-Reliefs. Up here in the dark is a collection of strategic dioramas dating back some 350 years. French King Louis XIV created a workshop to build these 1:600 sale models of the major fortifications around the French coast as a tool for planning military actions. Napoleon resumed the practice in the 1800s, and today the collection includes some 100 different models. Not all of these are on display, but they are quite large and intricately detailed. Truly a hidden gem of military history in the attic of the museum. If you have an opportunity to visit the Paris Musée d’Armée, don’t miss the chance to take an hour or so to see these!

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