We have traveled quite a bit since we got married, but there is one place that grabbed a hold of me and makes me want to go back trip after trip. I am talking about Paris and the city of lights. One of the things I enjoyed seeing the most amazing collections of impressionist and post-impressionist art in the world. While the Louvre is amazing, there is one place I enjoyed more, The Musée d’Orsay. I fell in love with this museum. It is located on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900 for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography by painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. I have always loved Monet, so this was what inspired me to want to see this museum in the first place. Plus that fact this it is still one of the largest art museums in Europe.
The museum’s specific exhibition spaces and different facilities are distributed throughout the three levels: the pavilion Among, the glass walkway of the former station’s western pinion, the museum restaurant (installed in the dining hall of the former hotel), the Café des Hauteurs, the bookshop and the auditorium. One our first visit we actually did take a break while we were there and had a great sandwich.
If you plan on visiting soon, here is some important info. First of all be prepared to go through security. Since the terror attacks in Paris they are very cautious. Their hours are from 9.30am to 6pm daily, except Mondays, late night on Thursdays until 9.45pm with last tickets sold at 5pm (9pm Thursdays). Also worth noting, the Louvre (which is right across the street) is closed on Tuesday, thus the Musée d’Orsay get a lot of visitors that would normally not be there. Just something to keep in mind when planning your visit. Before you leave, make sure to check out the square next to the museum which displays six bronze allegorical sculptural groups in a row, originally produced for the Exposition Universelle:
- South America by Aimé Millet
- Asia by Alexandre Falguière
- Oceania by Mathurin Moreau
- Europe by Alexandre Schoenewerk
- North America by Ernest-Eugène Hiolle
- Africa by Eugène Delaplanche
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