STEPPING BACK IN TIME: DISCOVERING ROMAN PARIS

The Musee de Cluny, with the Roman figidarium. Photo, telerama

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.

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MATISSE: A MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE IN PARIS

‘Sorrows of the King’ by Matisse, 1952. Photo, henrimatisse.org

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.

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AN ENTIRE WEEKEND CELBRATING A NATION’S HERITAGE

Journees Europeennes du Patrimoine 2020 poster. Photo, normandie-tourisme.fr

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.

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CELEBRATING CULTURE AT AN ALL NIGHT FESTIVAL

Poster for the 2020 European Nuit des Musees. Photo, moreeuw

The idea of celebrating culture with an annual all-night event that brings together all ages and tastes, started back in 1982 and has since become a world-wide phenomenon.  In France, the Fête de la Musique is held on 21 June every year, and La Nuit des Musées falls around the middle of May.  Events are free, hugely popular, with a festive atmosphere and above all, great fun.

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DISCOVER THE CANAL SAINT-MARTIN NEIGHBOURHOOD IN PARIS

Take a leisurely cruise along the Canal Saint-Martin. Photo, Paris + Plus

For many visitors to Paris, if they know of its existence at all, the attraction of a leisurely boat ride along the Canal St. Martin lies in its being a great way to relax after a frenetic few days packed with sightseeing, or a few too many shopping trips.  Delightful as a canal trip is, there is a whole lot more to this northern part of Paris to discover.

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