Cover Photo © credits to john_capp
Cover Photo © credits to john_capp

Museums in Paris: Musée d’Orsay

2 minutes to read

Situated on the left bank of the River Seine, The Musée d'Orsay is probably the most beautiful museum in Paris. This museum is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a railway station, inaugurated in 1900 for the Universal Exposition, that looks just like a palace. In this art museum, you will find the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. I am sure, you will be more than impressed to see the work of some of the world's most famous artists such as Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Gauguin… 

Musée d'Orsay
Musée d'Orsay
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

History

The building of Musée d'Orsay was originally a railway station named the Gare d’Orsay. Built by Victor Laloux, a French architect, from 1898 to 1900, this magnificent railway station was inaugurated in 1900, for the Universal Exhibition. But, in 1939, because of its short platforms, the station was only used for the suburban services, and then during the World War II, it has become a mailing center. Later, the Gare d’Orsay has even become a movie set. Several movies were filmed here such as “The Trail”, a movie from 1962, based on the novel of the same name by Franz Kafka and directed by Orson Welles. But in 1970, the French authorities began to consider its demolishing. Fortunately, they have changed their mind, and the building of the former railway station was listed as a French historical monument since 1978. Finally, in 1986, the Musée d'Orsay was inaugurated.

Photo © credits to sonny2962
Photo © credits to sonny2962

Collection

The collection of Musée d'Orsay counts all expressive forms, from painting to sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts and even photography. This Parisian museum is also worldwide famous for the largest and most impressive collection of nearly 1.100 Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings. Here, you can see some masterpieces such as “Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe" (“The Luncheon on the Grass”), a large oil on canvas painting by Edouard Manet, ”L'Origine du monde” ("The Origin of the World") by Gustav Courbet, “Bal du moulin de la Galette” (“The Dance at Le moulin de la Galette”) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and “La Petite Danseuse de quatorze ans” (“The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer”), a sculpture by Edgar Degas which represents a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school. The square next to this museum is also worth visiting. Here, you can see and admire six bronze allegorical sculptures, originally made for the Universal Exposition, such as “Africa” by Eugene Delaplanche, “Asia” by Alexandre Falguière, “Oceania” by Mathurin Moreau, “Europe” by Alexadre Schoenewerk, “North America” by Ernest-Eugène Hiolle and “South America” by Aimé Millet.

Practical Information

The Musée d'Orsay is open every day from 9:30 am to 6 pm, except on Mondays. On Thursdays, the museum is open until 9:45 pm. The entrance is free for children and young people under 26 years. Every first Sunday of the month, the museum is free for everyone. After your visit to the museum, I suggest you take a break at Café Campana. This beautiful place, designed by the Campana brothers, famous Brazilian designers, is a dream-like aquatic environment where you enjoy your coffee or even a delicious lunch. 

Café Campana
Café Campana
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

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The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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