Wednesday 15 May 2013

Paris: Beauborg and the Louvre areas

From the Île de la Cité, it is an easy walk to the Beauborg and Louvre areas. Or if you prefer to save your energy for more sight-seeing to come, hop on the nearest metro or bus. 

Centre Pompidou 

If you're into modern art, then this is the place for you. Conceptualized in the late 60s by then French President Georges Pompidou, the Centre Pompidou was built to house the National Museum of Modern Art. It also houses one of Paris' major public libraries. 

Entrance fee without the pass is EUR 13,00 or EUR 11,00 depending on the period.

Locally known simply as Beauborg because of its location, the Pompidou was opened to the public in 1977. 
The 16-foot statue of the infamous head-butting incident of Zinedine Zidane during the 2006 World Cup finals. Talk about immortalizing a defeat! 

Stravinsky Fountain or the Fontaine des automates at the Place Igor Stravinsky.
Kinetic art sculptures designed by husband and wife artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely.

Nearest metro: Rambuteau (11)

Musée du Louvre

The Louvre is a huge museum, plan ahead to see what really interests you. You couldn't finish this in three days time even. The big K and I only wanted to see the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus De Milo and some Masters so we were out of there in less than 3 hours.

The museum is one of Paris' more popular attractions. Understandably the lines here are humongous so it is a good idea to have the Paris Museum Pass. You can enter through the Pyramid without falling in line. Entrance without the pass is EUR 11,00. Closed on Tuesdays.

The Glass Pyramid by American architect I.M. Pei was added in 1989 to serve as the museum's main entrance. 
The Louvre is divided into three wings: the Denon Wing (right of the picture) is the most popular wing of the museum since this is where you find the Mona Lisa. The Richelieu Wing (left of the picture) and the middle part is the Sully Wing. Here's an interactive map of the museum.

Nearest metro: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (1 and 7); Louvre Rivoli (7) 

Jardin Des Tuileries

After the Louvre, why not have a picnic lunch at the Jardin des Tuileries located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.

The Luxor Obelisk at Place de la Concorde as seen from the Grand Basin of the Tuileries Garden. And yup, that's the Arc de Triomphe up ahead. 

Nearest metro: Tuileries (1) or Concorde (1, 8, 12)

Musée de l'Orangerie

Located at the west corner of the Tuileries garden, this museum does not get the big crowds like that of the Louvre or the Orsay. It is the home of Claude Monet's Water Lilies murals.

Entry fee without the pass is EUR7,50. Same as the Louvre, the Orangerie is closed on Tuesdays.
The Water Lilies paintings of French impressionist Claude Monet depicts his flower garden in Giverny.

Nearest metro: Concorde (1, 8, 12)

Musée d’Orsay

From the Musée de l'Orangerie you can easily get to the Musée d’Orsay by crossing the modern pedestrian bridge spanning the Seine and connecting the Tuileries and the Orsay. 
The Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor (quite a mouthful!). Formerly known as the Pont de Solferino it was built between 1997 to 1999. It is actually the third bridge to be built as the previous ones have been weakened over time after being repeatedly crashed into by barges. Talk about crazy French driving!  
Formerly a railway station that served the Paris-Orleans route, Gare d'Orsay was converted into a museum housing French art from 1848 to 1915.
You can still see the name of the cities served along the route of the trains  originating from the former train station.
The cavernous Musée d’Orsay was opened to the public in 1986. Entry without the pass is EUR9 or you can buy a combination ticket for the Orangerie and Orsay for EUR16.00. Closed on Mondays.

Nearest metro: Solferino (12) exit at Musée d’Orsay
                      Assemble Nationale (12) exit at Musée d’Orsay
RER C: Musée d’Orsay

Next stop: Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe 

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