One day in Paris can be as long or as short as you want. We planned for a long day filled with as much sightseeing as possible, continuing on our flying visit of the main landmarks our next stop (even though it felt like a walk through) was the Pompidou Centre.
We’ve already seen a lot and walked a lot and our feet, though getting tired, were still up for a few more amazing sights. After seeing the Sacré Ceour, Moulin Rouge, and The Forum Des Halles we were now about to have our eyes opened by the Centre George Pompidou, Paris’s national museum of modern art.
The Pompidou was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and British architect Richard Rogers. The idea was to make “art accessible to all”. These architects were chosen after a competition was held in the early 70s, while construction started in 1972 and was completed and opened in January 1977. The collections of Modern Art at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Avenue President Wilson were moved to their new home.
We entered the Place Georges Pompidou from Rue Rambuteau, it was looking a little overcast but the incredible structure in front of us just made our girls stop and stare. If you haven’t seen this building before it looks as though it has been gutted and the contents put on the outside. I’ve loved it ever since I saw it back in the eighties. It has changed a bit, most notable were the queues snaking their way across the wide open space. Some fun elements were there in the form of ship funnels and these were great to pose against.
The building is spread over seven levels and I do remember an incredible sense of space and peace inside. The view from the top of the external escalator is certainly worth it. There is now an entrance fee, which is scaled depending on what you want to do in the centre. Level six is now a panorama floor, which I think you can go to just on it’s own without buying tickets to see the rest of the art works, frankly I think that is daft! If you can see modern art anywhere then see it here. A cinema is also available and the queue for this was very long, so it must have been good. Unfortunately, we were not able to go in this time as I think we would be waiting for some time. Instead we had fun with Lomo cams around the place.
Street performers were also there and there seemed to be some sort of open-air art installation/performance. Surrounding the square/place was a serious lack of shops, especially all the old bookshops that I had remembered and was hoping to find. Maybe the rents were now too much! The juxtaposition of the old buildings against this structure is really something not to be missed and taken advantage of. The painted pipes and of course, the fountain by Niki de Saint-Phalle around the back must not be missed on a sunny day, as they would sing out and look glorious on any film. Café Beaubourg is a good place to have coffee and watch the people go buy.
The nearest stations are Chatelet Les Halles and Rambuteau, there are certain times of the day that these are closed so I prefer walking as you really get to experience the place. You can enjoy easy access to the Centre if you have a Paris Museum pass.