Paris Parcours

The museums of Paris city center


They are among the most beautiful and the most well-known in the world, et they are all close to each other.

The museums of Paris city center

8 stops

1. European House of Photography

Located in the Hôtel Hénault de Cantobre, build in 1706, the 1996-opened center owns, besides artworks, also owns authoritative books on photography. Exhibitions are essentially revolving around the second part of the XXth century and the early XXIst century.

A nice Japanese garden can be seen at the House entrance, on the left.

2. House of Victor Hugo

Located in the former de Rohan-Guémené hotel at the Place des Vosges, where Victor Hugo rented the second story flat from 1832 to 1848 and wrote, most notably, a large part of the Misérables, the beginnings of La Légende des siècles (The Legend of the Ages) and the Contemplations, there is a museum dedicated to the iconic writer and his family, as well as a specialized library only open to scholars.

3. Carnavalet Museum

The Carnavalet Museum is dedicated to the history of the city. The museum occupies two neighboring mansions : the Hôtel Carnavalet and the former Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau. On the advice of Baron Haussmann, the civil servant who transformed Paris in the latter half of the 19th century, the Hôtel Carnavalet was purchased by the Municipal Council of Paris in 1866 ; it was opened to the public in 1880. By the latter part of the 20th century, the museum was bursting at the seams. The Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau was annexed to the Carnavalet and opened to the public in 1989.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, “Musée Carnavalet

4. Picasso Museum

Located in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district of Paris, it contained work by Pablo Picasso in all techniques and from all periods, and is especially rare in terms of its excellent collection of sculptures. Those, as well as drawings, ceramics and paintings, are complemented by Picasso’s own personal art collection of works by other artists.

Following the renovation works, the Museum will be even larger.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, “Musée Picasso

5. Centre Pompidou

How can you miss it ? Since its opening in 1977, the Centre Pompidou has had over 150 million visitors.

It houses a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research.

Because of its location, the Centre is known locally as the Beaubourg. It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who decided its creation.

The Centre was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano; British architect Richard Rogers; and Italian architect Gianfranco Franchini.

The Place Georges Pompidou in front of the museum is noted for the presence of street performers, such as mimes and jugglers. In the spring, miniature carnivals are installed temporarily into the place in front with a wide variety of attractions: bands, caricature and sketch artists, tables set up for evening dining, and even skateboarding competitions.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, “Centre Georges Pompidou

6. Louvre Museum

A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited. With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property.

By 1874, the Louvre Palace had achieved its present form of an almost rectangular structure with the Sully Wing to the east containing the square Cour Carrée and the oldest parts of the Louvre; and two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon, the Richelieu Wing to the north and the Denon Wing, which borders the Seine to the south.

In 1983, French President François Mitterrand proposed, as one of the Grands Projets of François Mitterrand the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid to stand over a new entrance in the main court, the Cour Napoléon.

The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. As of 2002, attendance had doubled since completion.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, “Musée du Louvre

7. Orsay Museum

Inaugurated in 1986, this young museum, one of the city’s most beautiful, is famous for its collection, the largest in the world, of impressionnist works of art.

Monet’s Cathédrales de Rouen, Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, Courbet’s L’Origine du monde or Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette are all curated here.

The museum’s building is an old train station (this was the final stop for trains coming from the French city of Orleans). The station itself had replaced the Orsay Palace, build from 1810 and burned in 1871 during the Commune of Paris. It was architect Gae Aulenti that oversaw the design of the museum, whose central nave is a trademark.

The Orangerie Museum has been attached to the Orsay Museum since 2010. In 2012, Orsay Museum went out of a 2-year renovation period : color now has much more importance than before.

8. Maillol Museum

The museum was established in 1995 by Dina Vierny, model for sculptor Aristide Maillol, and operated by the Fondation Dina Vierny. It presents both the work of Maillol (drawings, engravings, paintings, sculptures, decorative art, original plaster and terracotta work) and Vierny’s collection of the masters of French naive art including a painting by Henri Rousseau, drawings by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Suzanne Valadon and Tsuguharu Foujita, drawings and watercolours by Raoul Dufy, paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Serge Poliakoff, lithographic work by Odilon Redon, wood and watercolours by Paul Gauguin, sculptures by Auguste Rodin, and works by Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Robert Couturier, and Jacques Villon, as well as Russian artists including Eric Bulatov, Oscar Rabine, and Vladimir Yankilevsky.

Temporary exhibitions, often very interesting, are regularly organized.

Source :  Wikipedia Contributors, “Musée Maillol


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