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Museums: Musée d'Orsay

There are just a few things that are on my must do list when traveling; eating at some cool restaurants, visiting farmers and antique markets, and hitting a couple of museums. I find museum architecture quite interesting and how they interact with the surrounding environs. Urban museums have a different energy than those that sit on acreage featuring landscape art and outdoor sculpture gardens. I am partial to both, but when I find myself in a city on a rainy travel day, a museum is usually the perfect way to spend the day.

Musée d'Orsay

Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris


The Musée d'Orsay has a fascinating history as it started as a train station and hotel for the World Fair in 1900.The Gare d'Orsay was instrumental in the French railroad network from 1900 - 1939. Later in 1978, the station was classified as a historic monument. In 1977, an official decision was made to convert the building to a museum featuring the works of the 19th century. The renovation took many years and finally opened to the public in 1985.

The museum sprawls over three floors with collections that include painting, sculpture, decorative arts and photography. The impressive masterpeices of some of France's most famous artists including Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, and Van Gogh grace the walls of the museum that is visited by over 3 million guests per year. Specially curated exhibits can last just a few months.

Musée d'Orsay is closed on Mondays and offers a late night on Thursdays. The event offerings include diverse concerts combining music and art, lectures, cinema, and shows.

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