Next weekend, from September 18 to 19, 2021, France and the rest of Europe will celebrate European Heritage Day. It's one of the most important national holidays in France and the EU, a special day in celebration of the continent's many cultures. If you're in Paris during this holiday, this means you get to go to most of the city's best and most famous museums for free. What could be more amazing? You'll finally have a chance to get access to the French capital's most amazing cultural attractions without having to pay for anything. But where would you go? Consider these top options!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Palace of Versailles
What better place to celebrate European Heritage Day in France than the residence of the country's former monarchs? The Palace of Versailles has a lot of history to them, not all of which are good. It's through the opulence and excess of these stunning mansions, manicured gardens, and the like that inspired the French Revolution, giving birth to 'Liberté, égalité, fraternité.' Of course, the beauty of the place itself is worth the grueling public transport to get here. Watching movies about this part of French history isn't enough to take in the actual splendor of the place. It's a lot more overwhelming in real life!
Musée des Arts et Métiers
Despite its name, the Musée des Arts et Métiers, located along Rue Réaumur in the 3rd arrondissement
of Paris, isn't necessarily about art. This place is more so a conservatory than an art gallery, highlight the various industrial design feats in French history. It's this side of the country's heritage that's often overlooked, hence making it the perfect place to go to for one of the most anticipated days in September 2021
. You'll find lots of fascinating highlights here, such as the original Foucault pendulum and parts of chemist Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier's laboratory from the 18th century.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Arnaud 25
Musée de l'Armée
In the 7th arrondissement
of Paris, the national military museum of France, Musée de l'Armée welcomes visitors for free this upcoming European Heritage Day. It's an entire place filled with historic military artifacts, chronicling what the country's armies have used and gone through for the past few centuries. Medieval fans would go gaga over the authentic Gendarme heavy cavalry armor displays, shimmering as the light hits them. There's also the French 75 mm field gun, which was used during the 19th century. You also shouldn't miss the Renault FT, army tanks used during World War I.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Xiquinho Silva
Monnaie de Paris
What's more of a stamp of France's heritage than its currency? Before the Euro dominated in the 20th century, the country had its fair share of different currencies. And you can all learn more about them at Monnaie de Paris, the government-owned institution where France's coins are produced. Today, it's become the world's oldest currently running minting institution, making it more than what you'd expect from a standard museum. From gold to bronze to Francs and Euros, you can get the whole gist of France's many currencies through the years here. And it's only a short walk away from Pont Neuf, another spot worth checking out!
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If you're up for some art this time, you can head on over to the northern part of the Marais district
, at the 3rd arrondissement
and check out Musée Cognacq-Jay. This museum features 18th-century works of art from the collection of La Samaritaine department founder, Ernest Cognacq, which he amassed from 1900 to 1927. And while admissions here are free every Monday, this upcoming European Heritage Day weekend will allow you to enter free of charge too. Once you get inside, you can marvel at all the beautiful artworks on display here. Works of French masters like François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Paul Cézanne, and more!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Sailko
Palais de Tokyo
France's heritage isn't always just about the past. Today, the country prides itself as one of the most forward-thinking nations in the world. Even more so in the world of art. And if you want to get a taste of French contemporary and modern art, look no further than Palais de Tokyo in the 16th arrondissement
of Paris. Often a launchpad of up-and-coming artists, you'll get introduced to the latest names and the established giants in France's art world. The place has also served as the venue for fashion shows, exhibitions, and the like.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Coldcreation
This third weekend of September, Paris will join the rest of Europe in celebrating European Heritage Day. On this weekend, many of the city's museums are free to the public, and here are some you ought to check out!
Now, if you had your own luxury home in Paris, hopefully near any of these amazing museums and galleries, it'll make celebrating European Heritage Day much easier!