After a decade-long makeover, the City of Architecture and Heritage was opened by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France in 2007. With its trio of galleries and vast space, the museum is the largest architectural museum in the world. It lies in the east wing of the Palais de Chaillot on a hill overlooking a curve of the Seine, with panoramic views of Paris in all directions. The Eiffel Tower looms just across the river.
Exhibits are devoted to 12 centuries of French architecture, the most stunning of which is the reproduction of the stained-glass window in the Gothic cathedral at Chartres. Other exhibits include a walk-in replica of Le Corbusier's mid-20th century Cité Radieuse in Marseille.
In all there are 350 plaster cast reproductions of some of the greatest achievements in French architecture, going back to the Middle Ages. One gallery reproduces France's remarkable paintings and frescoes from the 12th to 16th centuries. A third gallery is devoted to modern architecture right up to a turn-of-the-millennium cultural center in New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Children can build their own architectural masterpieces with Legos and other materials.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010