Paris is so big, so beautiful, so many things to do, so many places to visit…
What you shouldn’t miss are the famous museums of Paris
. The list
is very big. Everybody can choose the most interested ones to visit. That could be galleries, sculptures, bibliotheques, house-museums, romantic or archaeological, modern art and much more..
But today I will talk about the museums that I had visited so far. They are just a few, but I have my list for the future visits as well 🙂
So, let’s start the journey!
I suppose the most famous and most visited museum in Paris is Louvre. It’s situated just in between Ile de la Cite small island, where the Notre Damme is located and admirable Jardin des Tuileries gardens. The closest metro stations to reach the museum are “Louvre – Rivoli” (Line 1) or “Palais Royal – Musee du Louvre” (Line 1 & 7). This is also probably the biggest museum of the city. It has 5 floors, each if them is filled with thematic collections. The entrance is from ground floor, right in front of the Pyramid. If you want to visit all 5 floors and check out the full collection places in this museum, then you should plan to spend whole day here, as it’s really huge and you will need to spend plenty of time inside the halls, that are full with sculptures, paintings, Greek/Roman/Egyptian antiquities, Arts of Africa/Oceania/Asia/The Americas and much more else. Lot of people come here to see the statues of Winged Victory or Aphrodite (also known as The Venus de Milo) or a portrait of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Some people come to visit temporary exhibitions stated in the Louvre.
I came here to check out all that was possible in the very short time that I had. I’d standing a very long queue for a ticket, that lasts for more than 1 hour. After I got my ticket, I entered the first hall that I saw and you know what was standing right in front of me? I could never imagine I will see that in Louvre.. Armenian Khachkar (cross-stone) devoted to Armenian Christian Art! Unfortunately I don’t remember from which century it was, but with no doubts, it was very old .. There was an old man standing near that Khachkar for some time. When he saw my reaction, he started the conversation with me, asking if I’m familiar with that. Am I familiar? Oh yes 🙂 And I told her I’m from Armenia, from the land that first admitted Christianity, from the only land that has a culture to create such carvings on stones that are called Khachkars… And I was so proud, and he was so inspired.. That was an awesome feeling to see the part of your culture in such a huge, worldwide famous museum. Wow..
Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to check all the floors, all the halls, but still will do that one day, in the future.. But, let’s continue our journey in the great museums of Paris.
Probably the next well known museum, and one of the bests for me is The Orsay Museum
. The museum is not very far from Louvre. It’s on the other side of the Seine, opposite the Touleries Gardens. Initially this was built as a railway station for Universal Exhibition of 1900. Now it has 3 floors, each of them filled with exciting collections of paintings and sculptures. In front of the entrance there is a shop of the museum, where you can buy different books about the collections of the museum, gifts and souvenirs with related marks, etc.
This was also a very short experience that I had. I was in Paris for some workshops, and one of them was located very close to this museum. As I didn’t have enough free time to enjoy my stay there, visiting all that I want without hurry, the only way to visit Orsay was to come as early as possible.. but that was only 1 hour that I could win. I was at the entrance of the museum almost after its opening, and just not to be late for my workshop, I had only 30-40 minutes. I took the tickets, got a map of the museum, very rapidly checked what is where and started to run. Maybe I looked funny checking in 10 seconds each of the paintings and sculptures of the museum, but this was the only way to check as much as possible… Probably this is the only place that I didn’t make any photo of any exhibit… Don’t know why. Either I didn’t want to waste time on taking photos and was running to the other exhibits, nor I was too conquered by the collections and just forgot about camera.. Definitely, I will come back to this museum again and will spend some hours inside, as every room, every work worth it to stay more and admire without rush… This was again Wow.. )
Ah.. what a memories… :)) But let’s move forward. The next stop is another quite big museum, that will like antique history lovers. This is Musee du Quai Branly
. It’s on a walking distance from Tour Eiffel, hidden behind the buildings. But it’s not that small. It’s divided to 5 big sections, each of them shows the history of Asia, Africa, Oceania, North Africa & The near East and The Americas. Some exhibits with this themes are also shown in The Louvre. But here everything is shown in details. Better to get a guided tour, as each exhibit of this museum has its own story and own meaning. But in every sections, in every room you can also see a small touch mode video panels, where you can choose the exhibit shown in that room and find all relevant information about it. Here you can see different kind of sculptures, masks used for different procedures, totems, masterpieces, adornments. This was stunning. Highly recommend to visit this museum, if you like everything old, strange, mystic and breathtaking.. Wow.. again 🙂
The next museum that I had luck to visit was Rodin Museum
. Actually this was on my “to do” list but was planned for the second half of that day. In the morning I was planning to visit the famous Catacombs. I was near that place at the opening hour, but there was already a huge queue for the tickets. I didn’t imagine how long it could take. I stood there in a queue for 1,5h but reached only the half of the way. It was morning, but I was already quite tired. Finally I gave up and decided to go to the next destination, to the Rodin Museum. No worries, next time when I will plan to visit Catacombs, I will be in place for 1 hour beforehand, to be one of the firsts in line. Otherwise half of the day will spend again in the queue.
But let’s not stray from the subject and go back to the museums. August Rodin, French sculpture from 19-20th centuries. The museum by his name is not very big. A building with just a few floors, with the smoothest atmosphere. In this museum you can see some sculptures devoted to Balzac, a lot of sculptures of busts and heads, the sculptures of “The Thinker”, “The Cathedral”, the copy of famous sculpture “The Kiss”, and much more sculptures mainly made from bronze. But the museum doesn’t end with the building only. It has a beautiful garden behind, which displays a total of eight works. In front of the entrance, on the right side of the building there is a copy of “The Thinker” standing behind the trees. And on the left side of the museum you’ll see one of the most amazing works of the sculptor “The Gates of Hell”. On the other side of the building you’ll see a quiet garden with a small lake, which is surrounded with trees and colorful flowers. Within all the garden you can see many of Rodin’s works standing proudly on the alleys. The place is just perfect to stay, sit somewhere under the trees, look at any of the grand sculptures and relax. Another great place for Art lovers. And you know what? Wow… 🙂
The last museum that I want to talk about today is Espace Dali
. This is also a small museum hidden in the streets of Montmartre. The museum is great for people who loves the art of Dali, the extraordinary and strange way of creation of exhibits, the sculptures and surrealism. In the museum you will see his paintings, different sculptures, some surrealistic works that sometimes could be hard to understand. The museum also has a guide, so in case you’d like to learn more about Dali and his work, then better to have a guided tour. You’ll enjoy this place for sure. It’s different from the others. You’ll not see any work like here in another museums. So don’t miss your chance, try it out and you’ll see, this place also deserves a Wow :))
And the last thing for today, If you’re in Paris and are going to visit lot of museums in a few days, it’s worth to get a Paris Museum Pass. This will give you an advantage of free direct access to over 50 monuments and the museums, without queuing, have unlimited number of visits for the dates you’ve chosen (2, 4 or 6 consecutive days). And as more you visit, as more you save!
So many places visited and still so many places in the list.
Later on I will talk about some castles visited, in Paris and outside, on the Loire Valley, where the most beautiful castles are located.. These are also considered as museums, but this will be another subject, another story…
To be continued…