The palaces




17 place. du Trocadéro (16è)
M° Trocadéro
9.45 -17.15 Wednesday - Monday
In the 16th century Catherine de Medici had a pleasure house built on the hill of Chaillot, the house then passed on to the Maréchal de Bassompière. The Maréchal would later be sent to the Bastille by Richelieu and there, it is said, he burned over 6,000 love letters that he had received throughout his life as a man of leisure.

In 1651, Queen Henrietta of England acquired the house in order to found the convent of the Visitation there, a place to which many famous ladies would retire. The convent was later demolished to make way for the great palace that Napoleon dreamed of building for his son, the King of Rome. His dream crumbled, however, with the fall of the empire.

The Trocadéro takes its name from the fort of Cadiz, taken by the French in 1823 in order to re-establish the absolute monarchy in Spain. The Palais du Trocadéro, the architecture of which was inspired by Moorish art was built for the World’s Fair of 1878, and it is on the site of that palace that the current Palais du Chaillot was built for the World’s Fair of 1937.

The Palais de Chaillot is the work of the architects: Azema, Carlu and Boileau and is formed by two curved wings that descend towards the Seine. Between the two wings is the Esplanade des Droits de l’Homme, the view from which is dominated by the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars. Within the palace are several museums: the museum of man, of cinema, of the sea, as well as a cinematic library.



15 rue de Vaugirard (6è) M° Odéon
Tel: 01 42 34 20 00
Opening: Organised visits only the senate The site which, today, is home to the gardens and palace of Luxembourg was originally a Roman camp. When the Chartreux moved there in 1257, this verdant place had an ill reputation, and was even considered by some to be cursed. The Chartreux transformed it into a flourishing convent. Maria de Medici bought in 1612 the house of the Duke of Luxembourg and there, in 1615, she had her palace built by Salomon Brosse in the Renaissance style to remind her of her native Tuscany. Despite their exile, the palace remained the property of the royal family up until the revolution. The gardens were extended to reach on to the land of the Chartreux, and today offer a splendid setting for walkers. The Palais de Luxembourg is the senate convenes.



Place du Palais Royal M°Palais Royal In 1624, Cardinal Richelieu became the minister of King Louis XIII and decided in 1632 to order the construction of a palace. The task was given to Le Mercier (Richelieu’s favourite architect) who set about building the Palais Cardinal in 1639 – the place where the cardinal died on the 4th December 1642. The palace was bequeathed to the King, who died the following year. Ann of Austria and the Dauphin (the future Louis XIV) moved into the palace and there it took its name of the Royal Palace. The palace was then given to Philippe d’Orléans, the brother of Louis XIV and the husband of Henrietta of England, who would die there. Philippe II d’Orléans, the regent, then moved in and it was while he was there that the “soupers libertines” (free suppers) were organised.

His great grandson Philippe Egalité would later have a number of shop buildings constructed around the gardens, as well as the Théâtre Français.

During the revolution the Palais Royal was at the centre of events, turning indeed, into a den of debauchery. It was the setting for gaming houses as well as brothels. From 1801 the palace became home to the tribunal, then to the stock exchange, then to the court of commerce. It was restored to the Orléans family in 1814. In 1871, during the events of the Commune of Paris, the palace was set alight. It was restored, however and from 1875 to the present day has hosted the Council of State. One can admire there Buren’s columns, which despite a certain amount of controversy, fit in perfectly with the surroundings.




Avenue Eisenhower (8è) M° Champs Elysées Clémenceau Tel: 01 44 13 17 30
Opening: 10.00 -17.45 Tuesday - Sunday (payment on admittance) The Grand Palais was built for the World’s Fair of 1900 and was devoted to the Art Nouveau style. The works began in 1897, following the designs of the architects Deglane, Louvet and Thomas. It measures 240m long and 40m tall. The Ionic columns and monumental porch of the façade allow a view from the outside of Recipon’s chariots. Altogether, it forms a successful fusion of iron, stone and glass. The central cupola, made of glass, lets in light during the day and offers a magnificent view of the outside when lights reflect on it in the evening.




Avenue. Franklin Roosevelt (8è) M° Franklin D. Roosevelt Tel: 01 40 74 80 00
09.30 -18.00 Tuesday – Saturday and 10.00 – 19.00 Sunday (payment on admission) Set off for the Palais de la Decouverte to find out about specific fields of science (chemistry, electrostaticity, biology). This building allows anyone to become interested in science. The layman will have his interest piqued by the numerous experiments on display, while those initiated will find a fountain of information to improve their knowledge. Lastly, the planetarium gives visitors the chance to take a voyage through space and time.


Avenue Winston Churchill (8è) M° Champs-Elysées Clémenceau Tel: 01 42 65 12 73 Opening:
10.00 -17.45 Tuesday - Sunday (payment on admission) Built at the same time as the Grand Palais for the World’s Fair 1900, in the art nouveau style, the small palace shelters a wide range of artistic creations (antiquity, renaissance, 17th century). Within can be found the Museum of Fine Arts.


For more information : category "Monuments/Buildings".

Of course, Paris has many more monuments to offer, such as the Unmissable Attractions or Icons of Paris. Enjoy your visit!