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"Musée d'Orsay" Musée d'Orsay Tip by Janni67

Musée d'Orsay, Paris: 274 reviews and 558 photos

  Musée d'Orsay
by Janni67

During the 19th century, two buildings stood upon the site of the future Musee D'Orsay: the Cavalry barracks and the Palais d'Orsay, built between 1810 and 1838. During the violence of what is known as La Commune in 1871, the entire neighbourhood was burnt down. For thirty years the carbonized ruins of the Palais d'Orsay served as reminders of the horrors of civil war.

On the eve of the 1900 World Fair, the French government ceded the land to the Orleans railroad company who planned to build a more central terminus station and a hotel on the site of the ruined Palais d'Orsay. From 1900 to 1939, Orsay station was the head of the southwestern French railroad network. The hotel received numerous travellers in addition to welcoming associations and political parties for their banquets and meetings. However, after 1939, the station was to serve only the suburbs, as its platforms had become too short for the longer more modern trains.

The Orsay station then successively served different purposes : it was a mailing centre for sending packages to prisoners of war during the Second World War, then a welcome centre for those same prisoners after the Liberation. It was also used as a set for several films. The hotel closed its doors on January 1st, 1973, not without having played a historic role : the General de Gaulle held the press conference announcing his return to power in its ballroom (the Salle des Fêtes).

In 1975, the Direction des Musées de France already envisioned installing a new museum in the train station, in which all of the arts from the second half of the 19th century would be represented. The President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, inaugurated the new museum on December 1st, 1986, and it opened to the public on December 9th.

Address: 62, rue de Lille
Directions: Buses: 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, and 94
Métro: line 12, Solférino station
RER: line C, Musée d'Orsay station

Phone: +33 (0)1 40 49 48 14

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 6, 2003
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