Looking Back in the Present Paris
Get ready for a bit of patrimoine — heritage. This coming weekend, September 15 and 16, Les Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days) takes place all over France giving the public an opportunity to visit sites normally off-bounds to “the people.” This all began in 1991 based on a 1983 idea by the Ministry of Culture and now more than 40 French countries and regions hold the festival every year.
In Paris, this is your chance to get a glimpse of the Palais de lElysée (the French Presidents residence), the Sénat, Assemblée Nationale, museums and theaters that open their doors to the public this one weekend a year. This year, Paris has mapped out about 35 ‘heritage trails’ if you want to explore the sites on foot or bicycle.
Paris museums (except for the catacombs and crypt under Notre Dame) are offering their exhibits, guided tours and workshops free of charge. If you’ve never visited the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), you should! And others of note to see are the Archives de Paris, Hôtel dAlbret and Hôtel de Lamoignon where Paris houses its historical library.
Keep in mind when you set out for your tour, that some sites are so popular, long lines to enter should be expected. Some sites are well worth it, too! I’ll be taking in Heritage Days this year in Nice where much of the same kinds of monuments and museums will be open to the public and next Monday, you’ll be hearing all about it.
For a complete listing of what’s on in Paris, Nice and elsewhere, visit Les Journées du Patrimoine.
And for a downloaded app for the Paris events, visit: iTunes France.
Then, once the dust of patrimony has settled, don’t miss “Paris vu par Hollywood” (Paris as seen by Hollywood) at the Hôtel de Ville! Opening September 18th and running through December 15th, 2012, Paris is honoring American cinema’s portrayal of the city in more than 800 films with a special exhibition of film clips, photographs, models, costumes and posters. More than 400 documents from the French and American archives will be displayed to recall some of our greatest moments in cinema.
Remember An American in Paris by Vincente Minelli, Moulin Rouge by John Huston, Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen…and gorgeous dresses designed by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn in Charade? Twenty screens will show nearly 70 film clips and a 20 meter long screen will show a “montage combining film clips, photographs and posters, summarizing a century of uninterrupted correspondence between Hollywood and Paris.”
What was your favorite film set in Paris? Aren’t there too many from which to choose?
Opening at 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. daily except Sundays and holidays, you can expect the lines to be long, too…but worth it!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. See you tomorrow at Parler Paris Après Midi when Francisco Leiva teaches us how it takes “Two to Tango.” At La Pierre du Marais upstairs, 3 to 5 p.m. Visit Parler Paris Après Midi for more information.
P.P.S. Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group – La Rentrée Party September 15, 2012. Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. The Party takes place after the session at Lutèce Langue. Special offer that day: 12 sessions for the price of 10, and 24 sessions for the price of 20. Light lunch and drinks will be provided for free if you register that day, otherwise the lunch is 10 euros. Information at Parler Parlor.