Jean-François Bodin took on the unenviable task to of the
renovation and the architectural conservation and in order to accomplish the difficult
task of displaying the history of French architecture within the museum, the curators
employed a philosophy of incorporating traditional displays of architectural drawings,
models, and paintings, as well as life-size fragments and reproductions of buildings in
different areas, but all of these are shown within the same building.
The Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine is situated in the Trocadéro area of Paris
and just outside the tall windows of this reasonably new museum stands one of France's
most famous monuments, the Eiffel Tower which is
fully on view across the river and on a hill overlooking the curve of the river seine it also provides gorgeous views of Paris.
The Musée des Monuments was the place that donated many of these works with the most
significant ones coming from the great fragments of medieval churches, but there were also
some enormous pieces that were commissioned for the museum, including a full-scale
reproduction of one of the apartments from Marseille's Unité d'Habitation residential
complex, which was designed by the architect, Le Corbusier.
This is an unusual place that can capture the interests of both the public and design
professionals with the permanent and temporary exhibits along with the educational
facilities that are available, and a restoration school which is called the Ecole de
You may wonder why you should choose to look at copies of different sculptures and
architecture, but in reality, this is a great way of getting up close to a duplicate of
the real thing to study its detail that you may only be able see details of with a zoom
camera lens, which will be far harder to define. Another reason is because a lot of
the copies were produced back in the 19th and 20th centuries and in some instances the
originals do not even exist any more.
However, if you are still not convinced, then by all means, travel from one part of France
to another and get to see the real thing which would be a fantastic experience, but for a
lot of people, this would be a life-times dream, and this museum offers a person the
chance to see depictions of saints, angels, etc that they would never get to see for real
in their lives.
The exhibits are displayed with background information through photos, maps and short
descriptions as well as informative and interactive videos, which show, for example, what
a statue might have looked like when painted in its original gaudy colours. These
descriptions can also be heard and read in not just French but also English, although
other translations are very limited. And by prior appointment you can even get to
view the city's archives for those of you who really want to know more.
It is a great credit to the architects, designers and the inspiration of everyone involved
that has come up with a museum that is such a highly successful venture making the old and
new architecture of Paris accessible and interesting to the public, plus there is also a
bookshop on site as well.
The Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine is open from 11am through 7pm every day of the
week except on a Tuesday and on national holidays. For appointments to attend the
library that are prior arranged, these are held on a Wednesday and Thursday between the
hours of 9am until 1pm or 2.30pm until 5.30pm.
Address & Contact Details:
Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine
Palais de Chaillot
7 avenue Albert de Mun
Telephone: 1 58 51 52 00
Main Entrance (pavillon de tête):
1 Place du Trocadéro