April 13, 2012

Free Palace in Paris

Is the line to visit the Louvre or Musée d'Orsay too long? Are the crowds at the Eiffel Tour overwhelming? Instead of paying and spending time waiting, there are free museums in Paris where you can walk right in and enjoy a bit of elbow space and quiet as you get up close to the exhibits.

Except for special exhibits and the archaeologic crypt and catacombs, there is no admission fee to see the permanent collections in the municipal museums in Paris. While residents of Paris are well aware of this benefit, most visitors are focused on the "must see" famous sites.

The courtyard garden inside Le Petit Palais.

Le Petit Palais is a charming palace on a human scale. Located directly across Avenue Winston Churchill from Le Grand Palais, the smaller palace is filled with sculpture, paintings and relics. While you won't find the Mona Lisa, the galleries include representative examples over the ages: Paris 1900, Seventeenth-Nineteenth Centuries, Renaissance, Eastern and Western Christian, Ancient Greeks and Romans as well as Graphics, Photographic Collections, Books (including Oscar Wilde) and Manuscripts.

Le Petit Palais was built for the 1900 World's Fair. There are four wings to this trapezium structure that surround a central garden. The architecture and decoration make the Palais worth a short visit, even if you have no interest in the art collections. If you've been walking down the Avenue des Champs d'Élysées and are heading toward the Louvre or Invalides, the garden is a pleasant place to take a break.

There is a café for beverages and snacks, but with all the wonderful foods available in Paris, go somewhere else for a complete meal. The museum is closed on Monday and holidays, but it is open other days from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm, with last admittance at 5:00 pm.

In the garden.
Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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