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Inverted ship hull
In 1671, the architect Libéral Bruant undertook the construction of the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris. The buildings intended to house the veterans were built in record time, but Bruant struggled with the plans for the future church, as they were all rejected by the minister Louvois. In July 1676, the young architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart replaced Bruant. The nave of the Saint-Louis church was built according to the original plans, but the framework in the shape of an overturned ship’s hull was indeed the work of Mansart. Built of chestnut wood, it is 15 metres wide, 70 metres long and 12 metres high. It has remained unchanged for 350 years.
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