Charles de Gaulle Historial

La salle multi-écrans. Source : Historial Charles de Gaulle

Neither a memorial nor a museum, the Historial is an avant-garde place of learning with the emphasis on images, in all their forms, through the use of various interactive devices.

On the 22nd February 2008, the President of the Republic opened the Charles de Gaulle Historial at Les Invalides. This "audiovisual monument" is an avant-garde place of learning based on a strong preconceived museographical idea: using sound and images to retrace the route of a man whose own destiny became entwined with that of France.

Covering about 2,500 m², the Historial is a real "audiovisual structure" whose objective is to convey both the history and the memory of General de Gaulle. Created by the architects Alain Moatti and Henri Rivière, the Historial is housed in a concrete structure, invisible on the surface, beneath the Valeur courtyard of the Hôtel National des Invalides. There are no objects here, only still and moving images. In addition, the Communication and Audiovisual Production Company for the Department of Defence (ECPAD) has provided more than thirty minutes of archive films, allowing the production company special access to the original material so that it could make high definition copies. Conducted by the army museum in close liaison with the Charles de Gaulle Foundation, this production is part of the museum's large-scale modernisation programme.
Visitors are greeted on arrival by a mosaic of eighty portraits of Charles de Gaulle, before making their way into the heart of the monument, which is fixed in the ground by an inverted wooden dome. This self-supporting structure contains an enormous spherical auditorium with seating for 200 people, where five screens show a biographical archive film lasting twenty-five minutes and in eight languages. Directed by Olivier Brunet with a commentary written by Maurice Druon and read by actor Francis Huster, this film is an opportunity to find out more about the figure and his actions, set in a historical context. All around this multimedia auditorium there is a permanent exhibition divided into two areas: the history loop and alcoves. The loop is a place for wandering around, made of curved, fluted glass; visitors pass through an area filled with images and sounds recalling the major events of the 20th Century, from the Belle Époque up to the first man on the moon. The three alcoves are fitted with interactive equipment and are designed to allow those who wish to expand their knowledge of history to learn more about its complexity and consequences. The first is dedicated to the man of the 18th June; the second to him as liberator; the third as the founder of the 5th Republic, from the Constitution of 1958 until the events of May 1968.
In addition, all along the route, the bilingual French/English audio guide provided to visitors is an aid to interpreting the subject matter and the meaning of the images. A temporary 350 m² exhibition hall and a teaching workshop complete the collection. The originality of the Historial is in its use of audiovisual and sound archives to bear witness to a century on which Charles de Gaulle made his mark. The general public can personalise their journey through this innovative complex, where the emphasis is on interactivity. A spectacular journey that is both a scientific and artistic way of following De Gaulle's career.
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  • La salle multi-écran. Source : Agence Moatti et Rivière

  • Historial Charles de Gaulle. Source : Photo Hervé Abbadie pour la Fondation Charles de Gaulle

  • Historial Charles de Gaulle. Source : Photo Hervé Abbadie pour la Fondation Charles de Gaulle

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    Practical information

    Address

    rue de Grenelle 75007
    Paris

    Prices

    Plein tarif 8 € Tarif réduit 6 € pour les étudiants de moins de 26 ans, les anciens combattants, les groupes du 3e âge (minimum 15 personnes de plus de 60 ans). Gratuité pour les -18 ans étudiants en histoire et histoire de l'art, militaires, handicapés et leurs accompagnateurs, chômeurs et bénéficiaires du RMI.

    Weekly opening hours

    Ouvert du mardi au dimanche Du 1er octobre au 31 mars, de 10h a 17h, et du 1er avril au 30 septembre de 10h à 18h.

    Fermetures annuelles

    Fermé le 1er janvier, 1er mai, 1er novembre et 25 décembre.