The Unconquered Earth

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3 Frequently Overlooked Museums in Paris

While in Paris, it is expected that you would visit as many of the numerous museums that the city has to offer.  And if one were to bet, the Louvre and Musée d’ Orsay would probably rank at the top of anyone’s list.  However, after making time to see all the other famous Paris attractions, save some time to see these three other museums that are especially enriching.

1.  Les Invalides  (The National Residence of the Invalids)

The building’s original purpose was to be a hospital and retirement home for disabled war veterans, and still includes medical facilities and veteran’s retirement housing.  It also became the Army of France military museum and the adjoining churches housed the tombs of some French war heroes, such as Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).  Napoleon’s sarcophagus made of red quartzite rests on a green granite base directly under the exquisite dome of the Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides.  The beautiful church dome was modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

2.  The Centre Pompidou

This modern art museum is a part of a multidisciplinary complex that shares space with a library, exhibition hall, and repertory theater.  Even from the outside, you can tell that this would be a building for modern art based on its unusual and eclectic architecture in the middle of such an old city.  Not only is the art wonderful to look at, but the view is quite special when you are on the building’s exterior escalator going up to museum (which is on the 5th floor).

3.  Musée National Rodin

Just a short walk from the Les Invalides is the Rodin Museum.  One cannot begin to fathom the majesty of Rodin’s artwork until you see them up close.  Famous for “The Thinker” sculpture, it was mind-blowing how this artist could have produced the quantity of beautiful pieces displayed in even just this museum in just five decades.  What surprised me was that he not only produced the thousands of sculptural figures and busts, but he also produced many watercolor and oil paintings and over 7000 drawings and prints in chalk and charcoal.  I think this museum impressed me the most, simply in seeing the sheer number of objects that one artist could produce in a lifetime.

2 Comment

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