The Musee d'Orsay is a museum housed in a former train station, famous for its impressive collection of sculptures and Impressionist paintings.
The Gare d’Orsay opened in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition and was the first electrified terminal in the world. It was built on the site of the Palais d’Orsay, which had burned down in 1871.
As trains became longer and longer, the tracks of the station weren’t large enough to support most train traffic. It was used during the war as a mailing center, and then as a set for films. In the 1970s, the government hired designers to convert the station into a museum, and the new museum opened in 1986.
Some of the most recognized works of Impressionist artists are on view at the museum. Walking into any room can feel like walking into an art history text book. The building itself is incredible. Remnants of the old station can still be seen in specific features, like the big clocks throughout the space, which still keep time.
With over three million visitors every year, the museum probably sees as much traffic as a train station.
The only downside to the museum is the line to get tickets. They offer a range of special rates and member cards, or you can get tickets online in advance, which is definitely worth it if it allows you to avoid the long lines.
62 Rue de Lille