Bibliothèque Nationale de France (François Mitterrand)

There’s one place in Paris that can make me giggle just to think of it. It’s not a comedy theatre, humorous artwork or playful museum. In fact, it’s a very serious place. Constructed in the 1980s by President François Mitterrand to replace its much smaller predecessor and house every book published in France, the Bibliothèque … More Bibliothèque Nationale de France (François Mitterrand)

Hôtel de Ville

The Paris town hall looks like a fairy tale castle. Located in the heart of the city, on the border of the first and fourth arrondissements, the Hôtel de Ville is known for its striking façade. Throughout the year, an old-fashioned carrousel (or manège) twirls delighted children around. At night, the façade is illuminated and … More Hôtel de Ville

Fondation Cartier

The most memorable museums strike a balance between interior and exterior, between art and architecture. Sure, the modern gallery archetype of the white cube is great for focusing the eye on artworks, without distractions. But the white cube lacks personality and turns the museum into a blank slate. On the other end of the spectrum, … More Fondation Cartier

Conciergerie

Isn’t it odd how we pay less attention to sights on our own doorstep than we do to unfamiliar ones, even when our local attractions are more beautiful, unusual or remarkable? We all do it. Part of it must be that we become desensitised to the beauty around us when we see it every day, … More Conciergerie

Monnaie de Paris

As the years have gone by, I’ve broadened my definition of ‘museum’ for this blog. At first, I only wrote posts on art galleries or other sites with the word ‘musée’ in their name. This hasn’t posed a problem when searching for material: it’s been almost seven years and I still haven’t run out of … More Monnaie de Paris

Musée de l’Homme

Paris has a long, complex and often controversial history with its anthropological museums. I’ve written before about the history of the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, which is now a modern immigration museum, but was once the imperialist Musée des Colonies, home to the 1931 Exposition Coloniale Internationale. I’ve also written about the network … More Musée de l’Homme