Museums to Visit in Paris, France (I)
Museums to Visit in Paris, France: Catacombes de Paris – 1,000 Years of Bones
The Catacombs are the final resting place of over six million Parisians. Keep in mind the following when visiting the "Municipal Ossuary" in front of the Lion of Belfort:
Lines are often mind-numbingly long, so you should arrive as early as possible. There are no restrooms. The visit begins 130 steps underground and it is always under 15 degrees Celsius (under 60 degrees Fahrenheit).
The piles of bones arranged in decorative order come from several different cemeteries, and were exhumed and brought here over the course of thirty years in the late 1700s. Some of the famous figures in the mix are Renaissance writer Rabelais, revolutionary Robespierre, and playwright Molière.
Address: 1 Place Denfert-Rochereau, 14th arrondissement
Métro: Denfert-Rochereau (Lines 4, 6)
RER: Denfert-Rochereau (Line B)
Museums to Visit in Paris, France: Center Pompidou – Modern Art Behind Big Blue Tubes
When Centre Pompidou appeared on the scene in 1977, many Parisians were not pleased. But it soon became a postmodern monument and people now can't imagine Les Halles without it.
Like many of the city's architecturally significant buildings, the man who wanted it built did not live to see it realized. Georges Pompidou's presidency was cut short by his death in 1974. He loved art and wanted a cultural center that mixed visual art, music, theater, literature, and cinema.
Over forty rooms are devoted to the Musée national d'art modern at Pompidou. There's a Cubist room with work by Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Henri Laurens. There is work by Surrealist female artists Claude Cahun and Frida Kahlo. Giacometti, Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian… it's a major cross-section of 20th century modernist art.
Centre Pompidou also organizes temporary exhibitions and conferences and has a huge art bookstore and library. Check their website for more details.
Address: Place Georges Pompidou, 4th arrondissement
Métro: Rambuteau (Line 11), Hôtel de Ville (Lines 1, 11), Châtelet (Lines 1, 4, 7, 11, 14)