Museums of Paris

Table of Contents

In Paris there was always a set of magnificent places for visiting which hundred thousand foreign tourists came to the city. Today the situation has not changed at all, and streets of the French capital at any time of the year are full of idle travelers.



Louvre became a museum rather recently (only about two hundred years ago); however it has more than 800-years’ history. Initially on this place there was a defensive medieval fortress which after some time was transformed to the magnificent palace belonging to the French royal family.

Louvre-fortress is directly obliged by the occurrence to the king of France Philippe Auguste who has published the corresponding decree in the end of the twelfth century. However, time passed, kings had been leaving this world, on their place others came, and each of them had his own view on what should the Louvre be. Therefore for the long history it was constantly completed and reconstructed, owing to what to find something from a primary fortress today is obviously hardly possible.

Now it is difficult to imagine, however when in the end of the seventeenth century the royal residence has moved to not less well-known nowadays Versailles, the Louvre has appeared absolutely thrown, and (thank God that it did not happen) in the middle of the next century the palace could have been taken down as superfluous.

But the times of troubles of desolation and the first Revolution passed and the attention of masters have again been riveted on the Louvre. The first fans of art have visited the Louvre-museum in 1793. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has also made a decision to renew work on reconstruction and the Louvre building. After that here appeared the museum which became the world history as one of the nicest and richest on art masterpieces. Napoleon has enjoined each conquered nation to transfer to the museum a part from the works of art.

The museum had received that external shape which many of us had a possibility to admire, in 1871; then the first serious “brick” has been put to its collection. It is the collection of works of art of the King François I – the monarch has started to collect it in the sixteenth century. In a consequence it was supplemented with kings Louis XIII’ and Louis XIV’ collections.

Today the Louvre has about 400 000 exhibits among which it is possible to find those created during far times of the occurrence of the most ancient civilizations. For example, here it is possible to see statues from Assyrian king Sargon II palace, dated eighth century B.C.

In the early eighties under the decision of the President of France François Mitterand there have begun the Louvre restoration works thanks to which many elements of the building destroyed by time have been restored. And, naturally, there was already a well-known pyramid made of glass by architect Ieoh Ming Pei.


The Pantheon is a magnificent neo-classical construction which became last shelter for many legendary sons of France.

As to architectural features of the Pantheon, its size fascinates the viewers. The length of the building makes a hundred and ten meters that together with eighty meters width does it one of the greatest not only in Paris, but also in all France. The dome height also impresses. To construct a building 80 meters in height 200 years ago was not the easiest business.

The building is obliged by the occurrence to King Louis XV who during serious illness has sworn in case of the recover to erect a temple on place of the Abbey of St Genevieve which was at that time in desolation. However, as it often happens, majestic persons are inclined not to fulfill their promises. So it has turned out in this case. Banal shortage of means in the country budget became the reason which has delayed building of the temple. Though it is necessary to notice that architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot has created the project of the future church in 1755.

Temple building eventually has been begun and has come to the end in 1789 when Great revolution established its rules in France. Possibly for this reason the Panthéon became not so much of a temple but a magnificent mausoleum for many “big” Frenchmen among whom it is possible to note such well-known people, as Voltaire, Hugo and Russo.

Certainly, it is possible to concern such mission of a religious temple differently, but the Pantheon carries out such historical function and is a magnificent creation of architectural thought of the eighteenth century. For this reason we advise to all tourists coming to Paris, to include the Pantheon in the list of places for visiting.

Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

In 1898 the company “Paris-Orleans” has made a decision to start building of a new train station in Paris. The site had been chosen on the Seine left coast, and the new object has received the name d’Orsay. The architect, to whom the station erection has been entrusted, was Victor Laloux who has approached to this question very seriously, and the construction has been put in operation in 1900 dedicated to World’s fair opening. There were 16 railway platforms at the new station, but besides it there was a place for hotel with four hundred numbers, restaurants and cafes. In general, d’Orsay was a very modern station; however it has helped it to function for only four decades. Since 1939 for some reasons it has been abandoned.

In a consequence numerous attempts to renew its activity were undertaken with no result; throughout decades the station was constantly under the threat of a banal pulling down.

This architectural object was rescued by the president of the French Republic George Pompidou who in 1973 declared d’Orsay a national monument where it have been decided to organize one more Parisian museum to exhibit the works of art created in an interval from the Second French Empire to an early European cubism. The new museum became the ideal decision for capital as such place to it was not, for the Louvre – a classical art museum, and the Pompidou Center created by then was a modern art stronghold.

As a result of the reconstruction Musée d’Orsay had more than forty thousand square meters of area intended for placing numerous collections, and the quantity of exhibits among which sculptures, painting, furniture and drawings, has reached five thousand.

All expositions of the museum are remarkable by their originality as at the heart of their construction the postmodernist principle in which there is no hierarchy of values lies; thanks to that products of great masters and work of yet not recognized authors can settle down in the neighborhood. And such exposition approach allows visitors to estimate a detailed picture of semi centennial French art.

Exhibits of Musée d’Orsay take places on three floors. So, the ground floor is remarkable by sculptural variations of the middle of the nineteenth century and pictorial works of predecessors of impressionists which settle down in side halls.

The second floor will please visitors with products of artists-naturalists and symbolists, sculptors of the second half of the nineteenth century, and decorative graphics of that time.

Fans of impressionism and postimpressionism will find a lot of interesting in the top hall. The museum collection is considered to be one of the most interesting concerning the given art currents.

Initially the collection of Musée d’Orsay has been collected from three sources which were the National museum of the modern art, the Louvre and Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume.

With a view of increasing attention of the Parisians and visitors of the capital to a museum the management of the museum undertook various steps, up to financing of films of known directors. Thus, many of us could have seen the museum halls, without having visited them.

Having its own unique collection of impressionism Musée d’Orsay regularly holds exhibitions of exotic photos and pictures. Thanks to such approach the museum is always interesting to the present judges of art.

That museum is absolutely the must to visit in Paris. It will take you 1.5-2 hours, you won’t be tired and you will have a lot of positive emotions.

Les Invalides

This place is obliged by its occurrence to the French king Louis XIV, who in the seventeenth centuries has made decision to base a special centre for veterans of wars (and at that time there were plenty of them going on in Europe), who received serious wounds and mutilations on the field of fight. Thus, it is possible to tell that Les Invalides became the display of monarch care of this category of French citizens.

Originally Louis XIV signed about building in 1660; however the construction actually started eleven years, and lasted for more than three decades.

Architectural bases of a construction has been made by architect Libéral Bruant who has taken part in creating the whole ensemble of Les Invalides – from barracks and a shelter to the construction of Saint Patrick’s church, and the area of all architectural ensemble made more than 175 thousand square meters.

On the territory there is also a big esplanade which has appeared a bit later – in the eighteenth century so far. At the entrance of Les Invalides territory so-called “triumphal” guns are installed, shots from which are made exclusively on the occasion of significant events. In the courtyard of the complex numerous military long-range guns from battlefields are settled down, they are the proof underlining glorious history of soldiers of France. It is remarkable that you can find the guns from the Second World War on which names of the soldiers participating in the capture of Berlin in 1945 are engraved. Thanks to such a big collection Les Invalides is one of the most interesting military museums not only in Paris, but also in all French republic.

In spite of the fact that Libéral Bruant was the first architect, the construction had been finished by the legendary French architect of the 17th century Jules Hardouin Mansart who created Versailles and Place Vendôme. The architectural phenomenon of penthouse (or mansard) is obliged by the occurrence to Mansart. Sounds conformably with the surname, doesn’t it? And here in Les Invalides Church of the Hôtel des Invalides is his creation. It is a significant place of worshiping the glory of the French troops.

Outwardly Les Invalides Cathedral is completely sustained in strict style of the whole complex, even the building lay-out has been executed in the form of the Greek cross. The roof of the central hall from which four big corridors (they terminate in chapels of an angular kind) depart, is crowned with an original dome. In these chapels many great soldiers of France, among them Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon’s elder brother), marshals of France Vauban, Foch, Lyautey, Turenne, and also Rouget de Lisle, composer of La Marseillaise, are buried.

However, in any case the basis of the Cathedral is its central hall, after all the ashes of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte which have been transported from Saint Helena’s island in 1840 lay here.

Being in Paris – visit this place; it is unique from the historical point of view. Believe us, it’s worth it.

Paris Museum of Magic

The Magic museum represents an interesting place which can be visited be the whole family. Do not try to reduce the excursion time in this museum to minimum; try to spend enough time there to like magic spirit completely.

Coming inside, you will face a devil sitting on the magic handle and inviting you to enter.

A small theatre performance which consists of fifteen magic illusions lasting about twenty minutes becomes the first part of Le ballet de la Merlaison (excursion). Although the performance of actors is in French, it is not necessary to worry as the main task of visitors is in solving an essence of focus.

After end of theatrical performance the visitors who speak French can follow the guide (which is an old wizard), narrating about history of the Parisian magic, thus not forgetting to show focuses to visitors. Also excursion can be made independently.

As to small visitors they absolutely do not have need to address translators, after all they understand magic much more than any adult person. To give them a chance to move freely around the museum rooms to study numerous exhibits is enough

Sewers Museum

In the first millennium of our era Parisians used to take drinking water undertook from the Seine, and canalization was distributed on street channels which went back to the river. In the thirteenth century the king Phillip August has decided to build streets with special drainage channels for canalization in Paris.

The seventieth of the fourteenth century were marked by building of drainage channels from stone which were led to Montmartre. However this system remained imperfect as canalization still evaporated in city air that led to a constant stink and unsanitary conditions.

During King Louis XIV, and later Napoleon, there was a building of the big sewer collector systems the extent of which has reached more than thirty kilometers.

And only in the second half of the nineteenth century there appeared a good-working system of water supply and the water drain in Paris, by Baron Haussmann and engineer Eugène Belgrand. Thus, the city has received a separate system of water pipe with non-drinking and drinking water; the extent of the collector has made about six hundred kilometers. Certainly, the given system was not perfect, but thanks to it the city has received sewer system which corresponded to sanitary code much more and had modernization possibility.

So the starting point of excursions, that is the entrance to the museum premises, is on Seine left-hand side nearby with the Alma Bridge (Pont de l’Alma). This place is a fragment of the nowadays water drain system. Visiting the museum, you have a possibility to make excursion on the real sewer tunnels, equipped with both modern and used at various times equipment. The visitors will see numerous mechanisms showing the way the water drain had worked long time ago and works nowadays.

Besides, during excursion alongside with units it is possible to see numerous, stands with information, construction equipment, modern systems of computer monitoring. Each tunnel is equipped by a plate with the street name under which it passes. The water drain tunnels repeat the relief of the city streets located over them to the full extent, which is also very remarkable.

For today the museum of water drain is very popular among the tourists coming to capital of France. The first excursion has been organized in 1867, and since then they became regular.

Museum of Delacroix

This museum settles down in the Parisian house and studio of the great master in Furstenberg Street where he has spent last years of his life.

Delacroix has lodged here in December, 1857 having moved from the previous residence which was settled down on Rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. The close arrangement with church l’Eglise Saint-Sulpice became the reason of his choice of this place for the new residence for the well-known artist. Those years the legend of the French and world painting worked over the monumental frescos for a church chapel which is called nowadays the Chapel of sacred angels.

Despite his serious illness master Delacroix has made firm decision to finish one of the most significant works. Therefore he has moved closer to the place where the chapel settled down.

After the death of the great artist the Parisian authorities have made a decision on pulling down the house in which Eugène Delacroix lived to replace it with garages for local residents. And then to avoid so barbarous for all intelligence of the country action, at the initiative of the known artists Maurice Denis and Paul Signac has appeared special “Eugene Delacroix Society”. To the first affairs the new organization has made decision to rent the studio in which the well-known master worked, and in a consequence all house has been rented. Preservation of this historical monument and popularization of works of the artist was an overall objective of the created society.

In the early fifties of the twentieth century the house has been exposed on sale. However “Eugene Delacroix Society” had no money resources to redeem the building, therefore its heads have decided to transfer the collection of Delacroix masterpieces to the French authorities to provide its safety.

The country authorities, nevertheless, have shown respect for the great fellow countryman and have created a museum which today we know, The Museum of Eugene Delacroix. Thanks to it all premises (library, bedroom, hall and studio) where lived and created the remarkable artist are open for all fans of art and admirers of the master’s talent.

The museum exposition consists of Delacroix’s picturesque pictures, drawings, personal correspondence, lithographs which throw light on many moments of life of undoubtedly interesting and talented person. The museum furniture is produced on the basis of posthumous levy of execution of the artist as original exhibits have been lost in the 19th century. Under preliminary arrangement with inspectors of the establishment it is possible to get acquainted with some documents concerning life of Delacroix.

In the restroom in which the artist has left this world, there are his family portraits, and also a portrait of the maiden of Delacroix who was remaining with him till his latest sigh. Along with the well-known picture “The Repenting sinner in desert” the frescoes created by the master for Valmont abbey are presented here. Except for his works many personal things of the artist which can be interesting to visitors are collected.

Address: 6 Rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris

Wine Museum

5 Square Charles Dickens, 75016 Paris

Wine Museum in Paris is a relatively young museum, which was opened in 1984 on Rue des Eaux in the 16th district of Paris. Once upon a time at this place there were old monastic wine cellars belonging to the abbey of the monks Minorums. Quirky Christian monks have known wine for a long time, so there is nothing surprising in the fact that in the ancient quarries the cellars for the storage of noble grape drinks were organized. It is noteworthy that wines from the abbey had a great popularity at the court of King Louis XIII, and even the monarch himself valued them highly.

The cellars were abandoned for a long time, and only thanks to one of the owners of Parisian restaurants new generations know them. Thanks to this person, the premises were converted into a museum dedicated to wine and everything connected with it, and which got the uncomplicated name – the Wine Museum.

Now the Wine Museum in Paris has a lot of rooms whose total length is about one kilometer, and its exposition includes ancient wine glasses, all kinds of bottles, tools of winemakers.

There is a separate exposition devoted to the history of winemaking in Ile-de-France region with visual installations telling about the peculiarities of wine production.

Also, the Wine Museum in Paris allows its guests to get acquainted with the history of French winemaking, peculiarities of tastes and strength of the drinks.

After the wine tasting, offered by organizers, you can buy a bottle or more of wine you liked.

Among other things, it is very convenient that the Wine Museum is located not far from the legendary Eiffel Tower – so you can plan their visit for one day – the main thing is to choose the right queue.

Museum of romantic life

Obviously, when we listen or talk about Paris, a word “romance” appears sooner or later. No sense to argue about this, because about this city so many romantic novels, stories, poems and paintings were created, that a lot of other cities may only dream. And millions of tourists from different countries, who visited Paris, can confirm its status as one of the romantic capitals of the world.

There is a numerous number of bright places in the city, but there is and such one where the romance is in its name – the Museum of romantic life (Le Musée de la vie romantique). Today, this is one of three so-called literary museums in the French capital along with museums of Balzac and Hugo.

The Museum of romantic life is located in an old two-storeyed mansion on 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris.

Many years ago (in 1830), a famous Dutch painter Ary Scheffer had settled just in this house. And, of course, you will not be surprised at the fact that he was a representative of the romantic direction of painting?

And, as Scheffer was a court painter, his mansion had become a popular salon quickly.

Géricault, Lamartine, Liszt, Delacroix, Dickens, Turgenev, Rossini… This is only a small list of the great artists of that time who had been Scheffer’s frequent visitors.

Nowadays, the ground floor of the museum offers the exposition dedicated to the famous French writer George Sand. It’s interesting that in spite of Sand was a frequent guest of “parties” here, she had never lived in this house. But the Museum of romantic life received a collection of the writer’s things from her granddaughter in the beginning of the 20th century.

The first floor of the building – representation of life and work of Ary Scheffer. Much of interior – portraits of famous women of that time. As well, you will get a big pleasure admiring the old and elegant furnishings.

The Museum of romantic life is a state institution so you may visit it for free. Hours of service: 10:00-18:00 (every day except Mondays).

Musee Bourdelle

Speaking on the French art, it’s just impossible to get past such a bright person like Emile Antoine Bourdelle – the famous sculptor of the ending of the XIX – beginning of the XX centuries. A disciple of the legendary master Auguste Rodin, he left a huge mark in history himself and gave us his admirable works.

It’s evident that it could be very surprising if the memory of this great man’s creative work was not immortalized into the museum. And the Museum of Bourdelle (Musee Bourdelle) was opened in the same Paris studio where the sculptor had worked for several dozens years until his death (1885-1929).

Still being alive, Antoine Bourdelle began to prepare the studio for its transforming into museum, and in the beginning of 1930s Gabriel Cognac had allocated a considerable sum of money to buy the premises. It was very important for keeping of the master’s heritage, as long as many of his works had been under threat of plundering.

True, the opening of the museum had to be waited for a long time – the opening ceremony took place in 1949. 12 years later, in 1961 there were reconstruction and expansion of the museum, in 1992 these works had been repeated.

At present the Musee Bourdelle offers all connoisseurs of art to see with own eyes more than five hundred works: bronze, marble and plaster statues, paintings, wall painting, pastels, drawings. His numerous masterpieces are supplemented with own collection of Bourdelle which contains the works by Rodin, Delacroix, Ingres, Chavannes, Monticelli and others.

Address: 18, rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris.

Baccarat Museum

If you did not still hear about this spot, so you should know that Baccarat is crystal! Or rather, it’s the standard of the highest quality crystal, which has being made by excellent French masters for some centuries.

And the beginning was when the King Louis XV had issued a decree on founding of the glass factory in a small village of Baccarat (Lorraine province) in 1764. But France of that time is not the present China, and construction of the project took longer than planned. The first batch of glass was produced only in 1816. And the factory had got the royal order for cut-glass ware almost momentarily.

Wide recognition of work of the masters from Baccarat was also very quick. In 1855, the crystal of the Lorraine had won a gold medal at the first Paris World Exhibition. Since that time many royal houses and the celebrities became buyers of the Baccarat’s production.

Because of a need to tell about the crystal of Baccarat to wide circle of people, the specialized museum was founded. It was in 1988.

The Museum of Baccarat crystal (Musee Baccarat), located in the old palace of Marie-Laure de Noailles, became popular very quickly as among tourists as Parisians. In 2003, the museum was found over trusteeship of a famous designer Philippe Starck, who had made lots of changes in its look.

Nowadays exposition of the Baccarat Museum has about one and a half thousand items of different epochs, which won prises at various prestigious world exhibitions. Moreover, you will find the crystal, made for kings, queens, tzars, presidents, prime-ministers, and other famous persons from around the world.

The museum has got an additional popularity due to its shop where everyone may buy beautiful crystal things.

Address: 11 Place des Etats-Unis, 75116 Paris.

Centre Georges-Pompidou

One of the most beautiful modern architectural facilities of the French capital – National centre of art and culture (that’s a real name of the Centre Georges-Pompidou) – was opened 36 years ago in 1976 and for all this time it turned into a very popular place for leisure-time of residents and guests of the city.

As the founders of the museum has planned (including the President of the France whose name it has got) , the Centre is a modern place with symbolic architecture of the last century, which harmonically combines under its roof the modern art, theater, cinema, music, literature, and other directions of creative work.

Nowadays, the Centre of Georges Pompidou is considered one of the most attended places in Paris. By official statistics it’s about ten million people annually.

Thanks to the talent of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the architectural ensemble blends with rather classical buildings of the area, adding to it more originality and modernity. External decorations of glass and steel form an inimitable impression of the construction, which firstly seems as a factory, not a house of art. And due to such a “strange” appearance, the Centre attracts as real connoisseurs of art as common people, who walks past.

What does the Centre of Georges Pompidou offers inside? The permanent collection of the museum has about 60 thousand exhibits (the second world position after the Museum of modern art in New York): modern European artworks, huge library with a reading hall, cinema halls, theater stages, different documents on the art of 20th century, classrooms, institute of music research, bookstores, cafes, restaurants.

Dozens of theme exhibitions, concerts, conferences, movies, colloquiums, theater plays, masterclasses are being held at the Pompidou Centre annually.

The National Centre of Modern Art and Culture is located at the Place Georges Pompidou. Subway: Hotel de Ville, Rambuteau, Châtelet

National School of Fine Arts

Paris and art are synonym-words, what, perhaps, is not a secret to anyone who knows even if a little about history of this city. Thousands of painters and sculptors worked here, and among them were truly great masters. For a long time young and talented people come to the French capital for inspiration and knowledge, passed on from their famous colleagues. And one of the places where young artists have received and continue to receive now artistic education is the National School of Fine Arts (École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts).

This school was founded in 1671 thanks to the patronage of Colbert (firstly the building was right in front of the Louvre) and later it had been extended by joining of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, created by Charles Le Brun in 1648. Historically, the school is considered a major stronghold of French classicism in art.

The high status of the School of Fine Arts is corroborated by the fact that among its graduates were such legendary artists as Delacroix, Fragonard, Gericault, David, Degas, Seurat, Renoir, Boucher, Monet…

Moreover, until recently, the architectural department existed at the School, which was abolished only in 1968. For example, its graduate Charles Garnier (does this name remind you anything?) has created a style of architecture «Beaux-Arts» in the mid-nineteenth century, named after the school («beaux-arts» in French is «fine arts»).

The current building of the National High School of Fine Arts is located on the Left Bank of Seine in a famous Paris district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The author of its architectural design was Felix Duban, and parts of ruined buildings from different places of France were used in the construction, what gave to the building a unique originality and connected it with different historical epochs.

The school is an active institution and if you feel the talent of painter or sculptor, it is a great place to learn new skills and start a career in the art world.

Grevin Museum

Most probably, many of us have heard about such a wonderful London museum of wax figures as Madame Tussauds. So, Paris also has a similar museum – Grevin Museum (Musee Grevin). The inspirer of this museum creation was a director of the French newspaper Le Gaulois Arthur Meyer. The idea arose in his mind in 1881 when television and the cinema did not exist and newspapers had not published photos.

As in all times people wanted to know about famous people (today we call them “celebrity”) as much as possible. It was the reason why Mr. Meyer had decided to establish a museum of wax figures – exact copies of famous persons. His faithful partner and assistant was a well-known painter, sculptor and caricaturist Alfred Grevin. He made great efforts to create exposure, what for, in fact, the museum had got his name. The museum was opened in June 1882 when the first visitors had come to the depository of wax people.

Concerning external and internal design of the Grevin Museum, we must say thanks to the architect Eugène Emile Esnault-Pelterie, who created all this beauty in Venetian rococo and baroque styles with wood and marble, combining the luxury and simplicity at the same time.

Since the time the museum was open, it changed four generations of owners, the collection of exhibits had increased significantly. Unique Grevin Theatre and the Palace of Mirages, which has great popularity among visitors to the museum, had appeared.

For example, the Greven Theater has a unique attractive atmosphere. Its repertoire includes children’s magical performances, dramatic plays, musical concerts, mimes shows. Today the theater is a part of the list of Parisian historical monuments.

Mirages Palace is a magnificent kaleidoscope, consisting of many mirrors installed at different angles. When you get here, you feel like you’re in the center of constantly changing space, where amazing lights and glare play, the sounds of nature (grass rustling, water murmur, roaring of beast of prey…) are heard.

Collection of the Museum consists of more than five hundred wax figures made so professionally that at the first view it seems that you face a real person. Among the wax celebrities you can find such legendary figures as the King Louis XIV, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Gabin, as well as many modern representatives of sports, arts, show business, politics. Every year the exposure gets the new “stars”.

Grevin Museum lets Paris residents and visitors to look at different eras, to touch those who previously were saw only in the pictures or on TV.

Address: 10, Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris. Metro: Grands Boulevards.

Cabinet of coins and medals

This interesting museum is located under the roof of the National Library of France and it contains a rich collection of over half a million artifacts from all over the planet. There are rare and unique medals, coins, jewelry and adornments among them.

History of the museum began many centuries ago when the King Charles IX had created a special position in the Royal Household – the keeper of the royal coins and medals. And each his successor maintained this position and increased the collection of jewelry, coins and medals, which eventually had became the richest in Europe.

Significant stocking of the depository was received in 1765, thanks to a rich collection of antiquities of the famous French art historian and archaeologist Count Caylus. Also the museum received a collection of pre-Christian artifacts that were kept at Sainte-Chapelle.

In 1846 a buried treasure related to the V-VI centuries was discovered (about a hundred of ancient coins and other gold items) in the town of Gourdon, which had also become a part of collection of the Cabinet des Medailles et Monnaies. Later the museum received a collection of Greek coins of Louis XIII favorite Charles d’Albert duc de Luynes.

Today Parisian Museum of coins and medals offers its visitors the opportunity to see many unique items, including the Husraw Bowl of gold and crystal (6th century), the largest in the world cameo (1st century), the Bowl of Ptolemies of sardonyx (1st century BC).

Museum of Advertising

The life of modern human society is simply impossible to imagine without such a phenomenon as advertising. It is difficult to say when there were the first advertisers, but we can safely say that advertising had become an important element of human development. And if we take into account the fact that Paris has been a favorite place for people of different creative professions historically, then the advertising had to become something special for this city.

Do you like advertising or are an expert in this field, or maybe just interested in all the original? In this case, you definitely need to visit Parisian Museum of Advertising (Musee de la Publicite), collected under its roof the brightest examples of the French advertising.

It is considered that the symbols of Paris are Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre or Eiffel Tower, and there is no point to argue. But regarding the advertising, Paris also has its own symbols. For example, one of the most striking symbols of the city is created in 1896 ad of the cabaret Tournee du Chat Noir, whose author was well-known graphic artist Theophile Steinlen. The cabaret was located in Montmartre – the most glamorous and bohemian place at that time.

But let’s return to our hero – the Museum of advertising. It was established in 1978 and collected the best advertising posters, radio and video clips. Today the museum’s exposition includes more than 400 thousand materials, made from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century. Also the museum has a large collection of modern advertising products – this is 45 000 graphic works, posters, videos… The exposition is so varied that it would be interesting not only for connoisseurs and specialists, but also for people who are far from advertising.

Address: 107 Rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001.

Doll Museum

If you go to Paris with your children or just want to return to childhood for a short while, then we advise you to visit Parisian Museum of Dolls. It is not marked on the main tourist routes, but nevertheless, believe, good mood and lots of positive emotions are guaranteed here.

Despite the fact that the museum is located near very busy Rue de Rivoli in Paris you will be at pains to find it. This place is fairly well hidden from prying eyes in local courtyards.

Paris Doll Museum was opened rather recently, it had happened only in 1994. The basis of today’s museum collection has become the legacy of a father and a son by the name of Odin. The older representative of this family – Guido – worked as a costumier in a theater of Piedmont for a long time. When his son Samy was sixteen years old he had given him a rare book on the making of antique dolls, French costumier and artists whose names are associated with the production of dolls. Maybe it might sound strange someone, but thanks to this rare book the Doll Museum had appeared in Paris.

Initially, Odin junior was finishing his philological education and gathered own collection of dolls. And there is a remarkable fact – the title of Samy’s thesis was “Doll magazines in France of the early 20th century”. During this time he has visited many libraries and archives, received a lot of useful information. It was more than enough for opening of theme doll museum.

Today the Paris Museum of Dolls is known not only among collectors from different countries, but it has also become a very popular place for local children. Regular theatrical performances, exhibitions, birthday parties in the circle of puppet characters (grandmothers and great-grandmothers of today’s children could play with the same ones) are organized.

The exposition of the Museum of Dolls in Paris has about two thousand items, many of which were made in the nineteenth century by the best French masters. Unfortunately, the museum is not very large to display the entire collection at once, so, as a rule, visitors can see about four hundred exhibits.

We can talk about this museum for a long time, but it’s better to see with own eyes and get unforgettable experience. We wish you good mood – Paris Doll Museum will necessarily give it!

Museum of Freemasonry

The Museum of the Grand Orient of France and the European Masonry or as it is called in most cases – the Museum of French Mansory (Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie) – probably applies to the second category of Paris museums. However, this does not mean that this museum would not be interesting for people who are keen on the history.

The Museum of French Mansory is located on 16 Rue Cadet in the 9th arrondissement of Paris and is open to visitors every day except Monday and Sunday. Entrance to the museum is free.

This museum was opened in the late nineteenth century, to be more precise – in 1889, in a hotel Cadet as a cabinet of curiosities and existed in this form for a long time. However, during the Second World War the whole exposition of the Museum of French Mansory was taken to Germany by the invaders.

The second birth of the museum took place in 1973, when a part of documents and artifacts had been returned to France from the Soviet Union. As we know many cultural and historical values came to archives of the legendary KGB after Germany’s defeat in the war. In 2000 the Museum of French Mansory received the status of the official museum of France. Also, it was the year when that the museum had received another part of its old collection from the Soviet archives.

Today the museum gives an opportunity to get acquainted with tens of thousands of unique exhibits on the history of Masonry in France. Decorative elements, paintings, heraldic symbols, clothing, military equipment, writing materials, and more other things are represented in its halls.

Museum of Decorative Arts

Paris Museum of Decorative Arts (Musee des Arts Decoratifs) is located in the west wing of the famous Louvre, which is known as the Pavilion Marsan. It is a member of the organization “Decorative arts” and dedicated to design and decorative arts.

The museum was founded in 1905 by representatives of the French Union of decorative arts. The exposition of the museum has examples of interior design, furniture, religious paintings, objects of religious altars, wallpapers, Gobelins, interior adornments, glassware and ceramics, toys. Here you can see the things from the Middle Ages to the present times.

Basis of the collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts – French carpets, cutlery and crockery, furniture from the city of Aubusson, porcelain from Sevres’s manufactory, glassware of such masters as Emile Galle and Rene Lalique. We can mark out and modern exhibits by the famous designers in the styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco Charlotte Perriand and Eileen Gray.

Very popular are the exhibitions devoted to certain time periods. A striking example is a part of the house of Jeanne Lanvin whose design was made by the famous master of the early twentieth century Albert-Armand Rateau. We can also highlight the dining room of the artist Eugene Grasset, relating to 1880, and “Gold Cabinet of Avignon” (1752).

The Museum of Decorative Arts – a symbolic place for many people and some of its exhibitions have become legendary. For example, Yvonne Brunhammer, who was a curator and museum director for over forty years, had organized the exhibition entitled “25 Years: Art Deco/Bauhaus/Style new spirit” (Les Annees 25: Art Deco/Bauhaus/Stijl Esprit Nouveau) where, in fact, the term Art Deco was invented. It characterizes the modern French design, rooted in the period between two world wars of the twentieth century.

By its nature and direction the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts has many in common with such famous museums as Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Address: 107 Rue de Rivoli, 1st District of Paris.

Malmaison Palace

We know practically everything about the life of the great Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and almost nothing about his life partner – Madame Josephine. But exactly here this legendary woman, who inspired the most famous Corsican in the history to his various exploits, had lived.

Bonaparte has also often held weekends at Malmaison with his sweetheart at the time of the consulate from 1800 to 1804 years. And if to believe the memoirs of the Emperor’s private secretary, only here Napoleon was himself.

After her divorce with Bonaparte and until the death Josephine continued to live in the palace, giving herself fully for care for a wonderful rose garden and occasionally taking in the apartment the emperor.

Today the palace of Malmaison is a museum, embodying a striking example of architectural style of the First Empire, as well as showing visitors glass, chinaware, clothes and personal belongings of Josephine.

To get to the palace you can not only by car but also using a public transport. Reach the metro station La Defense (line 1) and there transfer a bus number 258 and move to the stop Malmaison.

The Malmaison Palace is open to the public from April to September during daylight hours.


Avenue du Château de la Malmaison, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison.



What is Versailles? First of all, the world-famous palace was built by French King Louis XIV. And today Versailles is one of the most visited tourist attraction in France.

The representatives of royal blood strived for surrounding himself with luxury at all times, and Louis was not an exception. It is not surprising that the king built a new palace solely because of envy. However, he did not envy some European monarch, and that person had been his own finance minister. He built a palace at Vaux-le-Vicomte.

Crave for a new residence, the king naturally wanted it to be much more luxurious than the residence of the homager. But, significantly, the creators of the new palace was chosen architect Louis Lebo, landscape designer André Lenotre and painter Charles Lebrun – the authors of the object of the royal jealousy. According to the monarch’s order, new royal residence had to be a hundred times greater than the palace of Vaux-le-Vicomte.

The result of those works we can see even today. Versailles was the culmination of desire of French kings to luxury. Sometimes we hear that stylistically Versailles has ambiguous feedback from visitors. However, it should be remembered that Louis (aka Sun King) was an extravagant person, so his tastes were more than special.

All said words are applied directly to the palace. But surrounding park is not less attractive to visitors, and there are extremely positive reviews of all tourists visiting this legendary place.

We will not paint all the charm of Versailles because it can take more than one day and Internet is full of all sorts of information about the famous sight. We just want to remind you about this wonderful place what you can visit during your stay in Paris.

French authorities have always cared about the history. The president of French Republic Jacques Chirac, as Francois Mitterrand once organized a reconstruction of Louvre, had started a twenty-year program for the restoration of Versailles with a budget estimated at 400 million euros in 2003.

The easiest way to get there is RER train.



The palace of Fontainebleau – according to the opinion of many people, one of the most beautiful palaces in France. We have already told you about the village of Barbizon located near the place, but now it’s time to stop on Fontainebleau, revered by many French monarchs.

The Palace of Fontainebleau is located just fifty miles south of Paris and its history goes back almost a thousand years. Therefore, we can say confidently that it had seen many remarkable events connected with the history of France. Over the years from its foundation the palace has undergone many changes – extensions and rebuilding. Special influence on the present view of the object had the Renaissance, and today only one tower remained from the Middle Ages.

But, let’s return to the story. Popular among the thousands of tourists palace was founded by the King Francis the First and became the first residence of monarchs in the northern Europe, which had not have any defensive properties. Thus it was a beginning of the era of transition from strict royal castles to luxurious palaces. Order for construction and decoration of new apartments was made to known at that time Italian masters Benvenuto Cellini and Primaticcio.

After Francis went to the forefathers, the mission of building the palace had passed to Henry II Galois and Catherine de Medicis. At this time construction works were in the hands of the famous French architect Philippe Delorme.

The King Henry IV also showed sympathy for Fontainebleau. Exactly he ordered to make the channel of 1200 meters near the palace and put fish into it.

Naturally not all the French kings favored the palace. After Louis XIV moved his residence in Versailles, Fontainebleau was abandoned, decayed and lost its former appeal. The former grandeur of the palace came back during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, who loved to spend vacation here rather often. That time the palace’s interiors were updated in a popular Empire style.

Speaking on Fontainebleau, it is impossible not to mention its beautiful forest, which occupies an area of 25 thousand hectares. At all times it was a favorite hunting ground of French monarchs. And today it is popular among many Parisians who come here to relax on weekends.

At presence the park and the palace of Fontainebleau are the parts of World Heritage Site, compiled by UNESCO. In the town of Fontainebleau there are prestigious educational centers on the arts and business.

If you have desire and free time for a tour to Fontainebleau, so you should take a train at Gare de Lyon (departure – every hour) and reach the station Fontainebleau-Avon – the trip takes only about 45 minutes. Here just sit on the bus, which runs from the railway station to the palace (on weekdays the interval between buses – 10-15 minutes, on weekends – 30).

Fontainebleau palace is open for visitors all the year. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Museum of Erotic

Museum of Erotic

Autumn of 1997 was marked by the opening of Parisian Museum of Erotic. Some people were even surprised that such a museum was opened in Paris so late, because the same museums had existed for a long time in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Copenhagen. Parisian museum is located in a large renovated house near Place Pigalle.

The museum’s exposition has more than two thousand items related to so-called erotica. Here visitors can get acquainted with very old erotic pictures, specific furniture, handicrafts, sculptures. In addition to its own permanent exhibition the museum regularly hosts exhibitions of erotic art from other countries.

Also you can see updated collection during significant events connected with the city. For example, during the World Cup of 1998 in France an exhibition of soccer balls was hold in the museum of erotica, of course, all this had a very erotic look.

Certain rooms of the museum were originally booked for the “classics” by its founders. So, such true masterpieces of the genre as erotic “netsuke” from the Country of the Rising Sun, as well as pictures, telling about the sexual life of inhabitants of the Black continent get their places under roof of the museum. In general, the five exhibition floors will please you with something original and interesting.

Undoubtedly, the spiciest exposition in Parisian museum of erotica is an exposure directly associated with homosexual relationships among members of famous American Indian tribe of the Aztecs.

The museum is a privately owned, and according to its words of owners, their aim is to show visitors not pornography but the real works of art. They consider that the main goal of the museum is to show sexual relations as a bright and positive phenomenon of human life, and not vulgarity with which some people associate sex.

Address: Boulevard de Clichy 72, near subway station Blanche.

Conciergerie Palais

Conciergerie Palais

Now the object of our attention is the magnificent building located on Ile de la Cité and known as Conciergerie Palais.

Its history dates back to the sixth century when the leader of united tribes of Franks King Clovis moved his main residence in a place that today known as Paris. To be more accurate, for this purpose he chose Cité island. As Clovis was a king so according to this status, he had decided to found the residence (palace) on the island. However, the king did not live here long, because he had died very quickly.

The next time the castle on Cité was a residence of the royal family in the tenth century when Paris had become the capital of France again.

Today, it is impossible to recreate the original appearance of Conciergerie, because since the construction it was constantly reinforced and restored by reason of regular fires.

The fourteenth century is important in the history of the palace, Conciergerie ceased to be the residence of French kings. After another peasant uprising it has been moved to famous now Louvre.

After a loss of such a high status the palace became a part of the architectural complex of the House of Justice. Even today the office of Paris prosecutor, as well as some city departments, is here. In principle, thanks to the move of the royal residence, the palace got its present name. Leaving the island, the monarch had left a part of his chancellery in the castle, and the chief concierge was ordered to manage remaining clerks. So, this is the reason for its name.

However, this was not the most notable event in the history of the castle. The most significant fact – Conciergerie palace was turned into a prison… This happened due to overcrowding of a jail situated nearby, and authorities decided to put criminals in a former royal residence. In 1391 the palace became a prison officially. Its most prisoners were sentenced to death, and the executions had been carried out right here.

There is and such a case in the history of the place. During the French Revolution in Conciergerie prison about three thousand persons (out of favour with new authorities) were executed after sentences by a famous judge of that time Fouquet-Tinville.

At various times “Guests” of the prison were as people of usual professions as representatives of scientific and art intelligentsia, noble aristocrats.

French queen Marie Antoinette was executed exactly here. She took a violent death only ten months later after the death of her husband. However, not only deposed monarchs had a chance to experience such a fate. Conciergerie became the last home for one of the main opponents of the monarchy, famous creator of the power of terror – Robespierre.

It only in 1914 official associations Conciergerie and a prison were severed after awarding the palace a status of architectural monument.

Despite such a dark history Conciergerie in Paris has a lot on what you can draw your attention, especially in architecture. For this reason we can always see many groups of tourists from different countries here. Last years the palace became the venue for numerous concerts and exhibitions.

Rodin Museum

Even not being connoisseurs of art, many of us probably know the name of a famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. In France, people revere the memory of this remarkable man and his work. And there is nothing surprising that the museum dedicated to Rodin was opened in Paris.

Rodin Museum is located in an old house on rue Varenne near the famous architectural monument – Les Invalides. The building of the museum, was built in the early eighteenth century for one thriving barber, who also was a stockbroker. This person has earned a great fortune, what allowed to build a luxury mansion. Later the apartments were owned by a famous military man of Louis XV army Marshal Biron.

At the time of the First French Empire this house was the residence of the Ambassador of the Russian Empire in France Prince Kurakin, who was the chief of the office until the Napoleon’s invasion to Russia in 1812. Ten years later a convent occupied the building, what resulted to impoverishment of the architectural ensemble of the house. Many decor elements, recognized by the church frivolous, were simply sold out.

In the twentieth century the building was purchased by the state, and authorities began to rent it out to representatives of art – artists, painters and sculptors. This place was quite popular among them, such legendary figures as the famous dancer Isadora Duncan, poet Jean Cocteau, painter Henri Matisse has lived and created here. Of course, the hero of our story – Auguste Rodin, who during his lifetime bequeathed all his works to the state, also had lived in the house with his faithful assistant – poet Rainer Maria Rilke – the Secretary of the great sculptor.

Auguste Rodin died in 1917, and two years later the museum of the great master was founded in the mansion of Biron. It has many masterpieces of the artist, including sketches, drawings, his completed works, as well as a large collection, belonged to Rodin.

In the garden of the museum there are monumental works of Rodin, such as famous sculptures “The Gates of Hell”, “The Thinker” and “Burghers of Calais”. In the chapel everyone can get acquainted with Egyptian, Greek and Roman works of art collected by Rodin during his life. In addition, each summer at the Museum of Rodin the exhibitions of works of present-day masters are organized.

Near the museum the current residence of the Prime Minister of France Hotel Matignon is situated, so you can enjoy and this interesting building.

This place has an interesting history. Parisians say that the intersection of rue Varennes and rue Vano is the place where the first met of the fathers of socialism Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx was.

You can visit Museum of Rodin on any day except Monday. In summer it is open from 9-30 to 17-45, and in winter to 16-45.

Carnavalet museum

The Museum of Parisian history is called the Carnavalet museum. This famous museum is located in an old mansion with the same name, and its exposition consists of as art as historical collections. Also we must remember that this old building is a bright example of architectural art, because its author was the famous French architect, creator of the majestic Louvre – Pierre Lescot. Today the house is the Carnavalet museum, but initially it was built for one of chairmen of the Supreme Court of France of the sixteenth century Mr. de Lineris.

Walls of the house are decorated with numerous sculptures, among which we can mark out four finest figures of women, representing different seasons of the year, by a classic artist Monsieur Jean Goujon, who always worked with Lescot on large projects.

At the end of the sixteenth century the building passed into the ownership of a widow from Breton madam de Kerneven. And the Parisians quickly began to call her as Carnavalet.

Years were passing, the owners of the building were changed, but the name of the mansion had remained unchanged. Since the French Revolution the mansion was a residence for various official agencies, while in 1866 the French government had decided to buy it for a museum.

Unveiling of the first exhibitions at the Museum of Parisian history took place in 1880 and its first director was Jules Cousin – the famous French scientist, traveler and collector of that time. The basis of presented to visitors exposition was his own collection, as well as the rich collection of the exhibit on the history of the French Revolution.

With the course of time the exposition of the Museum of Parisian history grew, adding many rare exhibits: engravings and documents, paintings and sculptures, household utensils. All of that were donations, purchases or archaeological findings.

Specialized halls were opened for lovers of the topography, for lovers of theatrical art – their own, a place for household items, old city signboards and a lot different things was also provided. In the late eighties of XX century the museum received an old mansion de Saint-Fargo for placing of its numerous exhibits.

Today the Carnavalet museum is the largest museum dedicated to the history of French capital, since a small village on the island of Cite in the middle of Seine to our days.

Expositions of the museum attract very different people with all sorts of interests, and everyone finds something similar here. You will find here the historical materials about architecture of Paris, crafts and decorative arts, information about famous people of the country, their great and magnificent palaces and estates. Thanks to this visitors can visualize life of the Parisians in different periods.

Musee Cognacq-Jay

The object of our attention is a small Parisian museum with a proud name Cognacq-Jay, located on rue Elzevir. There is no sense to compare this museum with famous Louvre or Pompidou Centre, but you’ll find many interesting items to see. Moreover, you will not have to wait for hours in long lines, if you do not have the Museum card.

Museum of Cognac-Jay is cozy and attractive place for real connoisseurs where more than a thousand exhibits relating to the French artists of the eighteenth century are collected. The collection of the museum (was opened in 1990), what occupies one of Parisian houses of King Henry II period, includes ceramics, paintings, sculptures, household goods of those distant years. Among many authors represented in Cognac-Jay we can mark out Chardin and Fragonard, whose paintings are represented here most widely.

The building (it can be called a medium-sized palace) of the museum was built by Mr. Mederic de Dodon – an accountant of the royal family, who also was a relative of famous Maria de Medici. This says that the first owner of the mansion was not the poorest nobleman of his time.

The decision to turn the mansion into a museum was made in Paris City Hall in the late eighties of the twentieth century to accommodate art collections of artists of the eighteenth century, which were bequeathed to the state by legendary founder of Parisian department store «La Samaritaine» Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jay. Mr. Cognacq was a well-known philanthropist and patron of the arts, who had died in 1928.

Of course, collection of Ernest Cognacq is not so rich as collection of famous Frenchman Andre Jacquemart. But, nevertheless, collection of well-known merchant has its own distinctive features.

This collection contains approximately 1200 exhibits, and most of them are small-sized items, so you will need spend a long time to explore everything. In the halls of the museum there are not any meaningful patterns (like in large museums), but everything here is more mentally and simply. All the artists represented here are considered as distant relatives.

Besides Fragonard and Chardin, Musee Cognacq-Jay offers works by such recognized masters as Greuze, Boucher and Watteau.

A significant part of the exhibition is porcelain figurines, boxes for essences, toiletries, furniture with more than two centuries history. The museum even has a wooden table of famous Parisian socialite Madame de Pompadour.

Since the beginning of spring and to the end of September visitors of Musee Cognacq-Jay can visit a magnificent garden, located in the courtyard of the house.

Address: 8, rue Elzevir.

Museum of Salvador Dali

The building of Museum of Salvador Dali is located at famous Parisian Montmartre and it contains the most significant collection of the great master’s works (in the majority sculptures and engravings).

Additional charm of the museum is given by the organizers of the exposition, who decided to accompany excursions of guests with lifetime records of conversations of Mr. Dali.

Returning to the personality of this iconic figure of modern art, whose fame stretched far from the European continent, we note that Salvador was born in May of 1904, in the family of Don Salvador Dalí-Kusi and Donna Felipe Domenech in the north-eastern part of Iberian Peninsula. In the same part of Spain Dalí spent his childhood, and during that time his well-known talents become apparent, and Salvador had begun his great journey in the art with drawing. According to his bibliographers, the first paintings are dated 1914, when the boy was only ten years old.

We are not going into the vicissitudes of life of one of the best artists of our epoch, you can read his detailed biography in specialized articles, books, or on many Internet sites devoted to artists. Best of all you can do – Dali Museum, located in Paris (the artist lived where) at 11, rue Poulbot.

You will see the museum as a full retrospective of life of the greatest sculptor of Spain, who left this world in 1989 and left a priceless legacy in the form of brilliant prints, sculptures and paintings.

Being in the museum of this famous artist you will know that this man had a wonderful, bright and long life in addition to excellent career in the art world. For his work in the field of art Salvador Dali was awarded the unofficial title of the most genius surrealist of the 20th century.

Musee Cernuschi

Few people know Musee Cernuschi, but it is one of the oldest museums in Paris, which received its first visitors in far 1898. The museum is the brainchild of a famous French financial genius Henri Cernuschi – a passionate admirer of Asian cultures. This museum is the second in France devoted to the East, the first one was located in town of Guimet. Collection of Parisian museum has more than twelve thousand interesting exhibits.

Initially, the museum has been allocated a separate building in the heart of which a magnificent Buddha statue made of bronze lies. Mr. Henri Cernuschi delivered this masterpiece to Paris from the Japanese district of Meguro.

Museum of discoveries and inventions

This museum was opened specially for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937.

According to the plans of the creators, it had to be “classic” science museum, whose function would be the opposition to Museum of Arts and Crafts, already existed at that time in Paris. This was not surprising, because the French have always loved to clearly separate museums for technical and scientific. However, after four decades this distinction has not been very stringent, so the museum had acquired its modern form.

Today every person has the opportunity to see a practical solution of many problems, encountered on the pages of textbooks on physics or chemistry. In general, Museum of discoveries and inventions has permanent exhibitions:

  • Life
  • Mathematics
  • The Earth and the Universe
  • Substance and energy.

Grand Palais

Paris Grand Palais is one of the most magnificent architectural structures which we can meet in the French capital. Grand Palais is located in the eighth administrative district of Paris near the famous Champs Elysees. If we talk about the architectural style, so Grand Palais refers to architectural direction of Beaux-arts. Today the building can be called a popular exhibition and cultural center in the city, and it is not surprising because one of the main facade of the palace has a symbolic sign “devoted to the Republic for the glory of French art”.

Regarding the history of this famous palace. From the very beginning its construction has been inextricably linked with the legendary Parisian World Exhibition of 1900. Grand Palais was very recognizable construction of the French capital from the foundation because of its huge roof, made from steel and glass ceilings. At the top of the roof the pride of France – its national tricolor – proudly waves for more than a hundred and ten years.

Grand Palais occupies a large area and if you look at it from a bird’s-eye look you see the form of the Latin letter H. Exterior walls are made of fashionable in those days stone and decorated with numerous statues. The authors of this remarkable creation were four architect: Henri Deglane, Albert-Felix-Theophile Thomas, Albert Louvet and Charles Girlaut. The skill level of these masters is confirmed by the fact that each of them was awarded a symbolic French Prize of Rome in architecture.

The interior halls are mostly used for numerous exhibitions during all the year round. It should be noted that the famous design house Chanel likes to organize their exclusive shows here. Besides the exhibitions and fashion shows, the halls of the Grand Palais are a popular place for a variety of lectures and seminars dedicated to the history and the art. Also the exhibition hall of Grand Palais represents an interactive science exhibition.

The local administration does not forget about the convenience of visitors. A great restaurant is always open and you can not just have a lunch here, but also spend time in the company of new acquaintances. Be sure, you will find them among art lovers. The restaurant is located in Petit Palais.

For the safety of employees and guests of Grand Palais and for preservation of artifacts there is a separate police station in the lower part of the building.

It’s a little funny that some time ago the management of Grand Palais installed numerous beehives on the roof of the building where their own honey was.

If you will have a free time, being In Paris, visit Grand Palais without fail. Especially because it works in a very convenient time (from ten in the morning to eight at night) and the entrance is absolutely free.

Quai Branly Museum

The name of our current object of narration is quite simple – the Quai Branly Museum.

It’s notable that, despite of the museum is located in the heart of Paris (it’s some minutes from the Eiffel Tower) and its exposition is extremely interesting, the number of visitors remains to be rather small. And if apartments in Paris, located in this part of the city, have a great popularity among travelers, just some of them reach Quai Branly Museum, but, believe there is a lot of interesting things what deserve to seen.

So, let’s back from the grim statistics of attendance of the museum to its real merits.

The initiator of the birth of our object was the president of the French Republic Jacques Chirac, and the museum was opened for visitors thanks to his protection in 2006. The museum occupies a whole quarter of Paris and is an original social-science-education center (visiting it you can constantly be in the center of some activity), a club and a museum at the same time. And if we talk about the main museum’s exposition, this is a collection of samples of art of the peoples of Asia and Oceania, Africa, North and South America.

The uniqueness of the Museum of Quai Branly is also in its very special and unique appearance. In its way, it is the only such place in Europe. The museum is an original place, which can be called as a home-garden, a home-field or a house-plant. In that way the usual street in Paris has a museum where hundreds of plants outside and exhibition halls inside the building co-exist harmoniously.

In general, the house, where the museum is, looks like the live plant, due to many real plants on its walls. They are placed there with special anchorage system designed by the famous botanist Patrick Blanc. And this solution is called a vertical garden. You can always admire this “living” house, just going by it.

Moreover, Quai Branly Museum lets its visitors to be in the real pampas (only South American phenomenon) without leaving Paris.

As is the case with other museums of Paris we could write quite long about this place, but in any case it’s better to see once than hear a hundred times…

We wish you nice excursions at the magnificent Museum of Quai Branly!

Museum of Jacquemart-Andre

Here is a text about an art museum of Jacquemart-Andre – the place where connoisseurs will certainly find many interesting things.

The museum of Jacquemart-Andre is located in a nice 8th arrondissement near such famous sights of the city as Champs Elysees, Parc Monceau, popular shopping centers Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. The exact address of Jacquemart-Andre Museum: 158 Boulevard Haussmann.

As many other such places in Paris, the building was an ordinary dwelling house in due time. In our case, its owners were a married couple – a famous artist Nelly Jacquemart and securities trader Edouard Andre. It is not hard to guess what a modern museum had its mane in their honor. Style, spirit and exposition of the museum are based on the heritage that these wonderful people, loving the art, had left. The basis of the exposition is the items related to Italian Renaissance, Dutch masters and French school of the eighteenth century.

The first floor of the museum starts from the Grand Salon, located in the heart of the museum. At one time when the owners of the mansion were still alive, it were the place for entertainments of the guests. The walls in this room offer you canvases of French painters of the eighteenth century Jean-Marc Nattier and Francois Boucher. In the next room, the attention of visitors could be attracted with great busts of famous representatives of the French political elite of those years.

In the office of Mr. Andre the luxurious furnishings of King Louis XV are installed. The room also has a neo-classical paintings and sculptural works of art.

In the fascinating marble conservatory there is a collection of incredible exotic plants from around the world. From this place you can climb on the second floor of the mansion-museum what dedicated to Italian art. So, here the masterpieces of the legendary Botticelli, Tiepolo’s frescoes took place, as well as mythical canvas “St. George and the Dragon”, hand-owned by Paolo Uccello, which depicts the moment of salvation of a young girl by a knight, during the battle with the mighty dragon.

To learn more about the features of the life of the former owners of the house you can visit their private bedroom, where magnificent gobelins, gorgeous furniture, golden items coexist wonderfully.

For the convenience of visitors the museum has a special room where they can relax with a cup of tea or coffee, the large monitors will show the museum’s exhibits at the same time, what you have probably not reached yet.

Cite de la Musique

The author of the Parisian Cite de la Musique («City of Music”) is the architect Christian de Portzamparc. The complex is located in the heart of the city in the park La Villette. “City of Music” is the international center dedicated to the musical theme. It contains the information about a large number of artists from the world around and their arts. The Center actively collaborates with the concert halls of Europe, so here you can always learn their history, get the information about past and upcoming performances. Among other things Cite de la Musique supports young talents in the music world and organizes the numerous exhibitions with the world-known museums.

Ensemble Intercontemporain of the center is dedicated to the music of the twentieth century, and here you will learn a lot of interesting information about the most important musicians of our time. In general, the “City of Music” is actively cooperating with such agencies as the Paris Conservatory, «City of Science», Grande Halle La Villette. Thanks to this the visitors of the center can often see “live” master-classes of the real professionals.

Cite de la Musique is a place where everything is organized in such a way that guests feel themselves comfortably and wonderfully spending their time here. In addition to numerous exhibitions you can enjoy the wonderful charm of a green park, ideal for relaxing before or after the musical performances.

Speaking on the history of this place, we should say that Cite de la Musique was opened in 1995, under the auspices of the former French President Francois Mitterrand, as a grave educational center for children and adults. The main mission of the center is to promote musical culture among the French and guests of the country. Also it should be recognized that each of us will find in Cite de la Musique something interesting, because the music is connected with all of us.

Cite de la Musique is located in the north-eastern part of Paris and you can get to it either by car or any public transport.

Musee de l’Orangerie

Undoubtedly, in the French capital there are many notable museums and Orangerie Museum occupies a fitting place among them thanks to its unique collection of works of the great masters of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Agree, it is very difficult to deprive yourself of visits to the gallery, where at the same time you can admire the works of such legendary artists as Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Henri Rosseau, Alfred Sisley, Pierre-Augusta Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and many others representatives of this direction of the art.

Gallery of the Musee de l’Orangerie is located in an old building of greenhouse (that is why the museum got its present name) on the banks of the Seine near the Palais des Tuileries.

The first exhibition was held in the gallery in 1927, when visitors could see the cycle of Claude Monet’s works with lilies, also known in the art world as the Nympheas.

After a seven-year renovation the gallery was reopened in 2006 and today most of its exhibits are on the upper floors, while the earlier the paintings were located exclusively on the lower tier of Musee de l’Orangerie.

The gallery is open to all visitors and you can get to it by public transport to the Place de la Concorde.

Arab World Institute

It is difficult to say there is or not a sense to come to Paris for an acquaintance with the history of Arab civilization, but in this glorious European city the Arab World Institute, opened in 1987, works. This unique cultural center, which includes also the museum exposition, is the result of united efforts of representatives of the world of art and culture, politicians and diplomats from France and twenty-two states of Asia and Africa.

The goal of the Institut du Monde Arabe is to introduce French and other Europeans the culture and history of one of the oldest civilizations on our planet, and, naturally, creating a bridge between Arabs and Europeans.

The charter of the organization has three main directions of activity of the Institute. They are:

  • more wide acquaintance of the French people with Arab civilization, language.
  • help in establishing the cultural and technical exchanges between Arab countries and France.
  • activities, directed for improving relations between the Arabs and the inhabitants of Europe.

The facade of the south side of the building of the Arab World Institute in Paris is made in the form of the original ornaments, but with clearly visible modern technologies, indicating the call for Europeans to cooperate with Arabic countries more actively not only in the cultural sphere, but also in science and technology. Beyond the walls of the housing guests are invited to familiarize themselves with an exhibition of metal jalousie, decorated with Arabic ornaments, in which a scientific approach (principle) of the prism through which they will automatically be narrowed by over-sunny weather applied.

As we noted above, the Parisian Institut du Monde Arabe has its own museum, whose collection is constantly growing thanks to new revenue items, donated by private individuals or purchased at various places. The museum collection and the design of the halls clearly show the close connection existing between all Arabic states. A substantial part of the museum exhibits is the official gifts of these countries. For example, we can note that the State Museum of Yemen presented the Paris Institute about five dozen of outstanding items connected with the history of the Arabic world.

All artworks and other items presented in the exhibit are located in the halls of the four floors (from 4th to 7th), and the order of visiting of the exhibits is exactly the same.

A quite remarkable part of the Museum of the Arab World Institute is its top floor, dedicated by the will of the creators to the pre-Islamic period of the Arab peoples. Here the guests can get acquainted with the museum exhibits of Tunisian civilization, ancient Carthage, all sorts of items from different eras, used by people who were living in Arabic countries at that times.

One floor below, visitors of the Institute can see objects and historical materials about the time of formation of art and science in the Islamic civilization. A number of stands is based on the materials that show the time of propagation of Islam by the followers of Prophet Muhammad in other countries, when in some countries in Africa and Asia new cities were founded.

Of course, creators of exposure did not forget the information about the Arab science, whose best times had begun in the tenth century AD. In those days many of the rulers of Arab countries have actively supported the scientific aspirations of their citizens.

In spite of this museum has no relation to France and Paris in particular, be sure, that having visited it, you’ll get the real pleasure and discover the wonderful world of Arabic civilization.

Memorial of Shoah

The Second World War has not passed France and left a scar in human memory. One of the reminders of that terrible time for humanity is the Holocaust Memorial (Mémorial de la Shoah), known before as the Tomb of the unknown Jewish martyr. The new memorial was opened by the President of France Jacques Chirac in 2005 on the place of the old one, which was built by the famous architects Alexandre Perzitz, Georges Goldberg and Léon Arretche in 1956.

Holocaust Memorial of Shoah was founded in memory of six million of the Jewish people killed by the Nazis during the World War II, as well as 76 thousand people who were sent to the concentration camps during the occupation of Paris by German troops. Here there is also a center where information about the affected people is stored.

Entering the memorial, visitors must pass through a double fence and a massive door, what by the plan of creators will give a possibility to feel that terrible emotions of people affected by the genocide.

In the courtyard of the memorial there is a large bronze cylinder with engraved names of the victims of the Warsaw ghetto and the names of the major «death camps» founded by Hitler’s henchmen.

On one side of the yard is a sculptural relief of seven memorial plaques to symbolize the Holocaust, it’s author is an artist Arbit Blatas. They have been established here in 1982.

On one wall the names of 76 thousand Jewish men and women, including 11,000 children, who were victims of German concentration camps, are engraved.

Today, the Holocaust Memorial in Paris – it is not only an architectural monument of the terrible genocide of the Jewish people. Nowadays, there are open reading rooms, conference halls, educational center, permanent and temporary exhibitions, there is a bookstore, a cafe.

Of course, visiting the Holocaust Memorial is a serious emotional experience, even for adults, but to visit this place – it means to learn and remember the terrible history, and never repeat those mistakes.

Memorial is opened for the visitors daily. For more information, please visit the official website of the Shoah Memorial


Musee Nissim de Camondo

This time it’s turn of Musee Nissim de Camondo which is a part of the big collection of works of art Les Arts Decoratifs. Musee Nissim de Camondo (as it is called in French) represents an exposition concerning the seventeenth century.

The history of occurrence of the museum is like that. In 1910 a French aristocrat count Moïse de Camondo has inherited an old private residence which throughout many years was the property of his deceased parents. However, the man has counted it not worthy to his condition and position in the society and has made decision to take down the house and to erect magnificent apartments on its place. The main reason of this act was the desire of the count to install the huge collection of works of art which was a part of the parental inheritance in the new private residence.

The house, as the count Camondo had wished, has been constructed and became his residence till his death in 1935. However this dear sir kept the collection of his parents and constantly aspired to its replenishment by other components.

After the count’s death the private residence has turned to a museum and has received the modern name which has been specified in the will of the owner. The word Nissim in the name of the museum stands for the name of the son of count Moïse who, being the fighting pilot died in an air battle during the First World War.

The distinctive feature of Musee Nissim de Camondo besides a collection of painting and a seventeenth century sculpture is the bright retrospective showing the real life of well-founded Parisian bourgeoisies of the first half of the last century. For those who admire this historical period, visiting the halls of this museum will be interesting. Before your look numerous exhibits, among which photos, decorative products, books, magazines and newspapers, interior subjects, clothes will appear… In general, here there is everything that allows showing visually the existence of society of Paris of that time.

If you are interested in Musee Nissim de Camondo description you will find it at Rue de Monceau 63 that is in the eighth department of the city nearby from underground Villers and Monceau stations.

Maison de Balzac

One of the brightest representatives of the French literature familiar to us from school is Honoré de Balzac. In this article we would like to describe the house in which this great author has been creating.

Maison de Balzac is located in the 16th arrondissement at 47, rue Raynouard, Paris. The choice of this place for a museum was not casual as the great writer lived in this house throughout eight years.

There is an opinion that any house can tell a lot about its owner’s character, and it is possible to consider the house of the well-known Frenchman a bright example of this opinion. There is no luxury in this private residence, all premises are extremely simple and modest, and the basic emphasis here has been made by Balzac on quiet and productive work on its literary works.

A special feature of the house of Balzac is the presence of two entrance doors one of which is not visible to every visitor. Along with a street door there is also the rear entrance which has settled down below construction on a slope of a hill that has been established. Some biographers of Honoré de Balzac consider the equipment of apartments with a confidential exit as a frequent necessity to disappear from numerous creditors, which visited the house of eternally impecunious writer. Though only the good acquaintances knowing the confidential password could get to the house, the rear entrance could be quite useful in case of persevering creditor insisting to come.

But, we will return to Balzac’s modern museum which we recommend to visit to all admirers of creativity of the writer staying in Paris. The exposition of the historical subjects devoted to creativity of the classic of the French literature of the nineteenth century, includes his manuscripts, caricatures and engraving. By the way, if you don’t know, Honoré de Balzac had lived at this address under a pseudonym and named himself citizen Brenol.

Here the writer prepared final edition of his masterpiece La Comédie humaine which became part of the golden heritage of the world literature. Here he worked at Une Ténébreuse Affaire and Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes – the well-known novels of the Frenchman.

Maison de Balzac isn’t a classical museum; therefore you shouldn’t expect anything supernatural from the excursion. As a rule those who come to this museum are people loving and appreciating literary creations of this person, who had been struggling with defects of the society and despising false morals of many mighty of this world during his whole life.

Close to the house there is small but very beautiful garden where Balzac liked to spend time.

Excursion in Maison de Balzac is free. We wish you estimate atmosphere of that place where over one and a half centuries ago lived one of the greatest writers in the history of mankind.

Fragonard Musee du Parfum

Now we would like to stop on a place any modern woman (no matter what her way of life or social status is) would like to visit. It is in the city of love and fashion – Paris, and is called also known as the Fragonard Musee du Parfum.

In this place the representatives of a fine half of mankind can take pleasure in fragrant notes of vigorous Freesia, mysterious violets, royal rose, romantic musk and other flowers. Perhaps, only here it is possible to “feel” the unique compositions made by the best masters-perfumers, – refined, light, serene whiffs of a spring breeze, or tart, frank-expressive and devilishly attracting. Under its arches Museum Fragonard (Musee du Parfum) has collected perfumery aromas, and masterpieces among aromas, the smells created by the best representatives of the trade. Having visited Paris and having come here, you have an opportunity to plunge into the world of aromas which is created in the well-known Alpine Grasse.

This oasis of perfumery has received its name in honor of the well-known French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard whose name is immortalized as well by the name of one of the smartest parkways of the capital. Actually, in this particular street the Fragonard center was founded by Mister Jean-François Costa who has continued his grandfather’s Eugène Fuch business (earlier he has founded similar museum in Grasse). Since then the unique collection of the perfumery aromas with no analog present in the world has been collected.

Visitors of the museum are amazed by the possibility to get acquainted with the novel world of the best aromas ever created, by originality of the premises design: Fragonard’s art creations, unique stucco molding on the walls, perfectly well picked up chandeliers of crystal.

The special impression is made by the selection of ancient furniture in halls of museum Fragonard, the coppers used once at perfumery factories. The exposition is supplemented with various ornaments, design elements, silk and cotton attires brought from different places.

The main thing in this museum is that you can receive unforgettable impressions and also get the pleasant perfumery which will remind of this place after returning home for reasonable price.

Our story has turned out short, but after all it should be, as no words will replace these magic aromas at Le Musee du Parfum on 9 rue Scribe, Paris.

Paris Museum Pass

Paris Museum Pass is your admission card to the world of museums of Paris. The given subscription extends on all museums of the capital of France. It is some kind of a “ticket” having which on hands gives the person a release from necessity to stand idle in a huge line as for owners of Paris Museum Pass there are separate “entrance corridors” (like “a green” corridor on borders).

Thanks to this museum card you save your time and can visit much more of the most interesting museum expositions. In Paris it is really a lot from what to choose. Louvre, D’Orsay, Montparnasse museum, Picasso’s museum, Invalides, George Pompidou’s Center and many other things.

The advantage of Paris Museum Pass besides possibility of visiting all museums of Paris without staying in lines is that you can get a card for certain number of days. The Parisian museum cards are now accessible for two, four and six days.

Certainly, it is difficult to visit in this time all museums of the city, but anyway, having bought this card, you will save on tickets, and keep the precious minutes of stay in this magic city, the name to which is Paris.

Site of Paris Museum