Palais de Chaillot, Paris

Palais de ChaillotPalais de Chaillot
The austere but imposing Palais de Chaillot with its two curving wings stands on high ground above the Seine. It was built in 1937 (architects Jacques Carlu, Louis-Auguste Boileau and Léon Azème) on the site of the old Palais du Trocadéro. The broad main terrace linking the two wings, flanked on both sides by gleaming bronze statues, offers a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower on the other side of the Seine. This was the entrance to the 1937 Exhibition.
The extensive wings of the Palais house four museums. In the west wing are the Musée de l'Homme and Musée de la Marine, in the east wing the Musée des Monuments Français and the Musée du Cinéma.
Address: 17 place du Trocadéro, F-75016 Paris, France

Palais de Chaillot Highlights

Museum of Man

The Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Man) in Paris devotes a third of its area of 10,000sq.m/108,000sq.ft to its prehistoric and ethnographic collections; the rest of the area is occupied by rooms for special exhibitions and a library of over 180,000 volumes on the top floor. On the first floor is the prehistoric material, including such notable items as Menton Man, a cast of the Hottentot Venus and the famous Venus of Lespugue, carved from a mammoth's tusk. The section of the ethnographic department on the first floor is devoted to Africa (including rock drawings from the Hoggar district in the Algerian Sahara, medieval frescoes from Abyssinia and sculpture from West Africa). On the second floor are collections of ethnographic material from the Arctic regions, Asia and America (in particular the art of the Mayas and Aztecs).
Address: Muséum national d'Histoire Naturelle, Palais de Chaillot, 17 place du Trocadéro, F-75116 Paris, France

Maritime Museum

The Musée de la Marine in Paris documents the history of the French navy and merchant navy from the galley to the nuclear submarine. Its 13 rooms of pictures and models of ships and port installations, nautical equipment, old charts, figureheads, diving apparatus and much else present an excellent survey of seafaring history. Items of particular interest are a model of Columbus's "Santa Maria" (Room 1); the "Louis XV", a toy boat which belonged to the young king (Room 2); the "Valmy", the last sailing ship in the French navy. made of ebony, ivory and silver (Room 4); some of the first steamships (Room 5); "La Gloire", the world's first ironclad, launched in 1859; and the nuclear-powered submarine "Le Redoutable".
Address: Palais de Chaillot, 17 place du Trocadéro, F-75116 Paris, France

Museum of the Cinema

The Museum of the Cinema in Paris covers the development of film from the first "pantinoscope" and the work of the Lumière brothers to the cult films of the present day. It was created by Henri Langlois, who began in the 1930s to collect anything and everything connected with photography and the cinema, including posters, film sets, film scripts and costumes. Film buffs will be thrilled by the props from famous films of the past - costly dresses from "Gone with the Wind", John Wayne's hat from "Stagecoach", bizarre street scenes from Robert Wiene's expressionist silent film "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari", Fritz Lang's robots from "Metropolis".
Address: 42 boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, F-75010 Paris, France

Theatre National de Chaillot

Below the terrace of the Paris' Palais de Chaillot, at the foot of which during the summer months youthful roller-skaters and skateboarders display their skill, is the Théâtre National de Chaillot, which has two houses with seating for a total of 3,000 spectators. After the Second World War such illustrious actors and actresses as Gérard Philippe and Maria Casarès appeared here under the direction of Jean Vilar. Since 1981 the director has been Jérôme Savary, who is noted for his avantgarde productions.
Address: 1, place de Trocadéro, F-75116 Paris, France

Cinematheque Francaise

In 1936 Henri Langlois founded the Cinémathèque Française (entrance in Avenue Albert-de-Mun), which has daily shows of three or four noted films of the past selected from its extensive holdings.
Address: 42 boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, F-75010 Paris, France

Muse Clemenceau

The museum is located in the apartment where the writer George Clemenceau lived from 1895 to 1929. His view included a garden and the Eiffel Tower. Displays include memorabilia and documents such as portraits, books, newspapers and manuscripts.
Address: 8 rue Benjamin Franklin, F-75116 Paris, France

Musee des Materiaux du C.R.M.H. / Centre de Recherche sur les Monuments Historiques

This museum displays building materials which have been used in the creation of historical monuments. Included are scale models of frameworks and buildings.

Museum of French Monuments

The Musée des Monuments Français (Museum of French Monuments) in Paris, founded in 1880 on the initiative of Viollet-le-Duc, the great restorer of historical monuments, displays reproductions and full-size models of major French monuments of art and architecture. The museum offers a vivid survey, presented chronologically, of the development of French styles in sculpture, painting and architecture over 12 centuries, from the Early Romanesque to the Neo-Classical period. To the right of the entrance hall are the wall paintings, distributed over three floors; to the left, in the east wing of the Palais, is the sculpture department.
Address: Palais de Chaillot, 1 place du Trocadéro, F-75116 Paris, France

Paintings and Arts

On the ground floor are works of the Early Romanesque period (c. 800-1000) and crypt paintings from Auxerre (life of St Stephen, c. 850). On the first floor is Romanesque art of c. 1000-1200, including the fine paintings of Biblical scenes (Genesis to the Apocalypse) from the abbey church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe in Vienne. The second floor is devoted to Early and High Gothic art (c. 1200-1400), the third floor to Late Gothic (c. 1400-1550).

Early Romanesque and Gothic Period

Notable items in the sculpture collection, in chronological order, are Early Romanesque sarcophagi (sixth-seventh C.), the earliest grave-slab with relief decoration (11th C.; Room 1), Romanesque sculpture and reliefs from door arches and church doorways of the 11th century (Rooms 2-6), Crusader architecture in Palestine (12th-13th C.; Room 7), Early Gothic reliefs and sculpture, from originals in the cathedrals of Chartres, Reims, Paris and Strasbourg (12th-13th C.; Room 8), the High Gothic burial chapel of the Dukes of Burgundy (14th C.; Rooms 14 and 15), work of the High and Late Gothic periods (14th-15th C.; Rooms 16-18) and of the Late Gothic and Early Renaissance periods (15th-16th C.; Rooms 19-21).

Renaissance and Roccoco Period

The Renaissance (16th-17th century) is represented by works by Jean Goujon (1510-68), Ligier Richier (1500-66) and Germain Pilon (1536-90; Rooms 22-24); the French classical period (Baroque, 17th-18th century) by François Girardon (1628-1715), Antoine Coysevox (1640-1720), the brothers Nicolas (1658-1753) and Guillaume Coustou (1677-1746; Room 25); the Roccoco period (18th century) by Maurice-Etienne Falconet (1716-91), Edme Bouchardon (1698-1762), Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) and Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1714-85), with fine busts of Voltaire, Mirabeau and Rousseau (Rooms 26 and 27).

Neo-classical period

The early neo-classical period of the 19th century is represented, among other works, by the "Marseillaise" carving from the Arc de Triomphe (Room 28).
Address: Palais de Chaillot, 1 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, F-75116 Paris, France

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