Strolling through <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Paris is like walking through an open-air museum. Its regal buildings, gardens, fountains and places have witnessed numerous monumental events and encountered some of the greatest figures in history, from Napoleon and Charles de Gaulle to Pablo Picasso and Marie-Antoinette. The beautiful city of Paris has done well in preserving historical artifacts pertaining to the French culture as well as foreign civilizations and communities. Following is a sampling of the many museums spread throughout the city.
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Centre Georges Pompidou
The Centre Georges Pompidou was the invention of President Georges Pompidou who wanted to create an original cultural institution in the heart of Paris that focused entirely on modern and contemporary art in theater, the visual arts, music, cinema, books and literature. It first opened its doors in 1977 and houses the leading collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; a vast public reference library with over 2,000 places to work; documentation on 20th-century art, cinema and performance halls; an institute for musical research; educational activity areas; bookshops; a restaurant and a café.
Place Georges Pompidou
Tel: 33 (0)1 44 78 49 54
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
In Explora, you will find close to 100,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Here, mankind's greatest technological and scientific revolutions are presented. On the first level: Aeronautics, Automobiles, Energy, Space, Images, Humans and genes, the Greenhouse, Water, Mathematics, the Ocean, Sounds. On the second level: Biology, Stars and galaxies, Tricks of light, Medicine, Rocks and volcanoes, Life and health. There is also a media library and films are shown in 3D at the Cinaxe theater. La Géode houses France's leading movie theatre, devoted to the projection of large scale films on its giant 3,200 square-foot hemispheric screen.
30, avenue Corentin-Cariou 75930 Paris cedex 19
Built in the 13th century, the former prison was once a place of torture, imprisonment, justice and death. Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, Danton, and Chénier were imprisoned here.
1, quai de l'Horloge
Tel: 33 (0) 53 73 78 50
Maison de Balzac
Maison de Balzac and its library hold a rich collection of manuscripts, letters, books, engravings and portraits of this famous French author.
47, rue Raynouard
Maison de Victor Hugo
From 1832 to 1848 Victor Hugo lived on the second floor of the current Maison de Victor Hugo, known at the time as the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée. He wrote some of his major works there, including Marie Tudor and a large part of Les Misérables. Visiting the apartment demonstrates the three main stages of his life: before, during and after exile. The first floor is devoted to temporary exhibitions and displays his drawings as well as an iconography of his literary work. 6 place des Vosges
Musée de l'Armée
The Musée de l'Armée was created in 1905 by the merging of the Artillery Museum and the Historical Museum of the Army. Among its most prestigious collections are the third highest ranking collection of ancient arms, small artillery models and an ensemble of exceptional pieces from the 19th century and Napoleon the First's reign. The Musée de l'Armée is located at the military school at the Hôtel national des Invalides.
129, rue de Grenelle75700 PARIS 07
Tel: 33 (0)1 44 42 38 77 email@example.com
Musée de l'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris
The Museum of Modern Art was officially opened in 1961 and today has major collections of works by Georges Rouault, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Raoul Dufy, Marcel Gromaire and Henri Matisse.
11 Avenue du Président Wilson75016 ParisTel: 33 (0)1 53 67 40 00
Musée des Arts d'Afrique et Océanie
Established in 1931, this museum's mission is to conserve colonial history and to display non-Western artwork. In February 2003, the museum's collections were moved from the Porte Dorée to be integrated into the future Musée du quai Branly. The aquarium and the historic halls on the main floor remain open.
Palais de la Porte Dorée - Aquarium Tropical293, avenue Daumesnil
75012 ParisTel: 33 (0)1 44 74 84 80
Musée des Arts Asiatiques
The Musée Guimet was the brain-child of Emile Guimet, an explorer who ventured on an expedition around the world in 1876. He acquired a collection of art that he put on display in a museum he had built in Paris. Over the years, the Musée Guimet has gained a worldwide reputation for its rich collection of art from Afghanistan-Pakistan, Himalaya, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, China, Korea, India and Japan.
6, place d'Iéna75116 ParisTel: 33 (0)1 56 52 53 00
Musée des Arts décoratifs
Opened in 1905 in the Rohan wing of the Louvre, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has one of the most impressive collections of decorative arts in the world, with over 150,000 items presented chronologically: Middle Ages-Renaissance; 17th-18th centuries; Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modern and Contemporary. They are also categorized by specialty: drawings; wallpaper; toys; glass and jewelery.
107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Tel: 33 (0)1 44 55 57 50
Musée des Arts et Métiers
The musuem's permanent exhibtion offers visitors a look inside the history and development of trades and crafts. Its collection is unique, in that it contains 80,000 objects and 15,000 drawings that testify to the resourcefulness of mankind and the spirit of the pioneers of the industrial revolution.
60 rue Réaumur75003 Paris
Tel: 33 (0)1 53 01 82 00
Musée de l'Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris
Situated in the hotel Miriamon, the museum possesses a collection of 5,000 items dating from the Middle Ages to present day that demonstrate daily life in a hospital setting: medical and surgical instruments; pharmaceutical objects; paintings; sculptures; archival documents and more.
Hôtel Miriamon47, quai de la Tournelle75 005 ParisTel: 33 (0)1 40 27 50 05
The art found at the Musée Cognacq-Jay belonged to the successful business man Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jay, founders of the Samaritaine department store. Keen on the elegance of French 18th-century visual and decorative arts, the couple donated the collection, upon Mr. Cognacq's death in 1928, to the city of Paris. Glasswork, furniture, sculptures, ceramics, paintings and drawings are on display.
8 rue Elzévir75003 ParisTel: 33 (0)1 40 27 07 21
Musée Eugene Delacroix
Delacroix settled on rue de Furstenberg on December 28, 1857. A national museum since 1971, it holds a varied collection of the artists works and private objects, including those exotic ones that he brought back with him from his trips to North Africa (ie. caftans, sabers, cushions, slippers and ceramics).
6, rue de Furstenberg
Tel: 33 (0)1 44 41 86 50
Musée de l'Institut du Monde Arabe
Opened in December 1987, the museum's mission is to present the Arab-Islamic civilization's history, culture and art, from its origins to the present day. 1, rue des Fossés-Saint-BernardPlace Mohammed-V75236 Paris cedex 05Tel: 33 (0)1 40 51 38 38 www.imarabe.org
Musée du Louvre
Once a medieval fortress and an impressive palace for French kings, the Louvre Museum has served as one of the most important centers for historical and cultural enrichment for the last two centuries. It is divided into eight departments and integrates works from the dawn of great antique civilizations through to the 19th century. Some of its more prized possessions include Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the Greek Venus de Milo.
Tel: 33 (0)140 20 53 17
The museum holds an extensive collection of objects related to the French marine and naval fields, dating from the 17th century to present day.
Palais de Chaillot 17 place du Trocadéro 75116 PARIS Tel: 33 (0)1 53 65 69 69
www.musee-marine.frMusée de la Mode et du Textile
The museum features a remarkable number of pieces dedicated to the development of clothing and the textile industry from the Régence period to modern day. A total of 81,000 pieces, of which 16,000 are costumes, 35,000 are fashion accessories and 30,000 are pieces of fabric. It is important to note that of these pieces, 90% were donated by private individuals, designers and manufacturers. 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 ParisTel: 33 (0)1 44 55 57 50 www.ucad.frMusée de la Monnaie
The Museum of the French Mint and Treasury includes exhibits of money, medals and historical documents, as well as posters, prints, and paintings about the making of money and medals.
11 quai de Conti
75006 Pariswww.monnaiedeparis.comMusée du Moyen Age, Thermes de Cluny
The Musée National du Moyen-Age Thermes de Cluny is a 15th-century Gothic mansion housing a wide selection of medieval art. Next to the mansion are 3rd -century Gallic-Roman baths, including a Frigidarium, or cold room.6, place Paul Painlevé75005 Paris
Tel: 33 (0)1 53 73 78 16
The former train station that now holds one of the richest collections of artistic creation of the western world from 1848 to 1914, the Musée d'Orsay is an architectural masterpiece housing other extraordinary masterpieces within, specifically its permanent exhibition of the Impressionist period.
62, rue de Lille75343 Paris
Tel: 33 (0)1 40 49 48
The Musée Picasso is located in the heart of historic Paris, in the Marais. The building was once the Central School of Art and Manufacture before the state turned it into a museum to house thousands of pieces of Piccaso's craft: painting; sculpture; drawings; ceramics; engravings and poetry. Hôtel Salé5, rue de Thorigny75003 PARISTel: 33 (0)1 42 71 25 21www.musee-picasso.fr
The renowned sculptor, Auguste Rodin, rented the ground floor of this former mansion and made it his mission to convert the space into a museum to house his works. He achieved just that when it opened its doors on August 4, 1919, two years after his death. It currently holds marble, bronze, plaster, wax and terracotta sculptures, ceramics, paintings, drawings, and works by Rodin as well as other artists (Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh).
77 Rue de Varenne75007 ParisTelephone: 01 44 18 61 10
To get the best value for your money, we recommend the Paris Museum Pass. With no waiting in lines, no admission fees and unlimited access to over 70 museums and monuments in the Paris area, it's the
easiest and most convenient way to enhance your cultural experience. Visit www.museums-of-paris.com for more information.For more information on Paris' museums and monuments, visit the Paris Tourist Office online at www.parisinfo.com.
For details on exhibitions in Paris' major museums, visit www.rmn.fr and for a calendar of exhibitions and events in Paris and throughout France, click here
Photos credit: Paris Tourist Office