Ah, August, the quiet month. Seems like each time I make a plan to do something, I am greeted by the “fermé” sign. So, in need of a little inspiration, I turned to an old favorite: the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. I know that Paris is full of museums, and each seems to be better than the last, but if you need a quick architectural tour through the ages, from Gothic to present, this is the place. As much as I would like to tour the country and visit every possible site, I know this isn’t practical, so Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is the quick fix. I first went there on a free Sunday because I was specifically interested in a temporary exhibit of paper designs (which was great). I didn’t realize I was in store for such a history lesson. The museum has real pieces of architecture and models that make you feel like you are touring the country. Another plus, on the free Sunday I visited, no line and no throngs of people at every display.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum gets bonus points for having great views of the Eiffel Tower. Today we went there to have a cup of coffee and some sweets at the museum cafe. Their canelé did not disappoint. Fortified by the caffeine and sugar, my husband was interested in seeing the “Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War.” It was a very well designed exhibit that elicited several “Fascinating!” comments from my other half.
Also of note, the first time I went there, I strolled into their library (of course it was closed today) and it seemed a perfect sunny spot to peruse some architecture books. If you plan to use the library, bring and I.D.
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
Palais de Chaillot
1 place du Trocadéro 75116 Paris