Situated in the heart of the historical Paris, the Arab World Institute (L'Institut du Monde Arabe) is a French organization dedicated to the Arab culture. This remarkable building in Paris was inaugurated in November 1987, as a part of the Grands Projets, which was an urban development program meant to provide modern monuments in Paris. Its cultural programs, but also incredible architecture design, are the reasons why you should definitely visit this place. And, of course, we shouldn't forget one extra detail. The panoramic view of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Ile de la Cité from this building is more than beautiful.
Between 1981 and 1987, the famous French architect Jean Nouvel was in charge of the construction of the Arab World Institute. Financed by the French government and the League of Arab States, the idea of this great project was to promote the Arab culture in France. This building, inaugurated in 1987, represents an astonishing architectural masterpiece. The Arab geometry inspired its southern facade, which is made of 240 mashrabiyas. These elements are very characteristic for the traditional Arabic residences, and they are equipped with a mechanism that opens and closes depending on the sun. The building was awarded several times for its architectural excellence. Often called the Arab Georges Pompidou Center, this place hosts a museum, a library, an auditorium, movie screenings, and conferences. It even has a restaurant with a panoramic view of Paris.
The museum of the Arab World Institute is a great place where you can see some very interesting exhibitions such as "Napoleon in Egypte" or "Once upon a time, the Orient Express." This museum is also a place where the Biennial of contemporary Arab photography is organized. Some great workshops for children are also regularly held in this building. Its library has an impressive multilingual collection of classic, modern, and children books. This library is entirely free. However, to get its membership card, you will have to be a Paris resident. This remarkable building also houses the Center of Language and Civilization where adults and children can learn the Arabic language.
You can visit the Arab World Institute free of charge, every day except on Mondays, from 10 am to 6 pm (until 7 pm on Thursday and weekends). However, you will have to pay for a ticket to enter its museum. The adult ticket costs 8 euros. Four euros is the price for those younger than 26. This remarkable building in Paris also offers many languages and calligraphy classes for children and adults. For more information, visit the Arab World Institute's webpage.
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