France is famous for its illuminations during the festive season. Despite the huge drop in numbers of visitors, and almost in defiance of the difficulties faced by everyone during this extraordinary year, Paris in particular is dressed with its usual impressive lighting displays to celebrate the holiday season.
The Belle Époque lasted from the 1870s to the beginning of World War One, and was at its height in Paris during the 1890s and 1900s. It was a period of great optimism and cultural innovation. It was an exciting time for art and theatre, as well as a new architectural movement generally referred to as Art Nouveau, which swept across Europe. It was an era of confidence, prosperity and certainty, and Parisians in particular were hungry for more glamour, more beautification, and elegance.
There aren’t many regions in Western Europe that were not once occupied by the Romans, and the city of Paris is no exception. When we think of modern day Paris, it’s probably more likely to be medieval marvels such as Notre Dame or Sainte Chapelle, perhaps monuments of the French Renaissance, Classical revival, the Belle Epoque, and of course the boulevards lined with elegant 19th century Haussmann-era apartment buildings, that spring to mind. However, the origins of the City of Light that we all know and love started with the Romans.
The Pompidou Centre is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henri Matisse, one of the most important artists of the 20th century. This special exhibition uses a novel published in 1971 by Louis Aragon, Henri Matisse: Roman as a framework to display not only 230 works, but also over 70 documents, books and archives related to him.
Every year in September, most European countries devote an entire weekend to the celebration and exploration of their cultural heritage through the European Heritage Days program. This year in France it was held on 19th – 20th of the month celebrating the theme “Heritage and Education: Learning for Life”.
Public and private owners of historic properties, members of associations for the protection and enhancement of heritage, curators, restorers, guardians and chief architects of historic monuments and objects, all mobilised to welcome visitors to hundreds of sites, free of charge. It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to celebrate the beauty and history of their own heritage.