There is so much to do and see in Paris. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre. Cafes, shops, gardens. So much to do, so little time. If you only have a few days, my one museum pick would be the Musée d’Orsay.
This building, once a train station and hotel, was built in 1900 for the World’s Fair and was meant to be seen as a work of art. From 1900 to 1939 the Gare d’Orsay was the terminus of the southwestern French railroad network. As trains became longer, the platforms were too short so the station served the Paris suburbs. Throughout the Second World War and in the post war years the station and hotel reinvented itself serving different purposes. In January of 1973, the hotel officially closed its doors. It was threatened with destruction that year, but thankfully, there was interest in reviving 19th century architecture. From then, it was transformed into a museum and opened its doors in 1986.
The building itself, sitting on the banks of the River Seine, is truly a work of art (in my opinion). Open and light, it is home to works of art from 1848 to 1914. Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Matisse and Cézanne are all some of the painters represented here. Sculptors and photographers also share the space. While there is a lot to see over the three floors, it is much more manageable than the Louvre.
The museum is open daily from 9:30am to 6pm except Mondays when the it is closed. Thursdays are “late night” with closing time at 9:45pm. A regular priced ticket is 11 euros. There are tickets available for combining the Musée d’Orsay with either the Musée de l’Orangerie or the Musée Rodin for a bit more. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket window or in advance online.
To book a trip to this fabulous city and the Musée d’Orsay, please contact Lynne.