Sign In
Campaign poster for Journées Européennes du Patrimoine 2016 │ Courtesy of European Heritage Days 2016
Campaign poster for Journées Européennes du Patrimoine 2016 │ Courtesy of European Heritage Days 2016
Save to wishlist

European Heritage Days 2016: 10 Must-Visit Buildings In Paris

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 12 September 2016
Arguably the most important cultural event of the autumn, and certainly the largest, European Heritage Days have been igniting the public’s interest in the social and architectural history of the continent since 1984. Each year, more than 17,000 monuments offer behind-the-scenes access, guided tours, and special exhibitions. Nearly 1,500 sites in Île-de-France participate, from mansion houses, industrial buildings, and churches to ministerial offices and iconic landmarks. For the 33rd edition on September 17th and 18th, the theme of which is heritage and citizenship, we have created a shortlist to visit in order to get the most out of Paris’ architectural wonders.

Hôtel De Noirmoutier, Résidence Du Préfet De La Région Ile-De-France

Built between 1721 and 1724 by Jean Courtonne for the Duke de Noirmoutier, this mansion is typical of those in the Saint-Germain neighborhood. Since 1970, it has been the official residence of the head of the Paris Police Prefecture, whose duties include managing the regional police force and emergency services as well as overseeing the administrative offices responsible for issuing ID cards and driving licenses. The household’s impressive collection of antique and contemporary art has been added to by its successive tenants, including current resident Michel Cadot.

📅 Saturday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Hôtel De Noirmoutier, 138 rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France

Archives Départementales et Communales de Paris

The Departmental and Municipal Archives of Paris are much younger than their national equivalent, which has existed for 200 years. Housed in a building designed by Henri and Bruno Gaudin in 1990, they preserve documents relating to the history of the capital and its population in addition to urban planning. There will be a special exhibition on display over the course of the weekend: Le cas des hommages aux victimes des attentats du vendredi 13. This is a selection of the 5,000 documents that were retrieved from the memorials created for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015.

📅 Saturday and Sunday from 1:30pm to 6:30pm.

Archives Départementales et Communales de Paris, 18 boulevard Sérurier, 75019 Paris, France, +01 537 241 23

La mia seconda casa 😡 #lesarchivesdeparis

A photo posted by Preziosa (@marzipan_pre) on

Agence Photo Roger Viollet

This is the first time that the Agence Photo Roger Viollet has participated in European Heritage Days. Founded in 1938 by Helene Roger-Viollet and her husband, John Fischer, this photography agency is one of the oldest in France. Its collection of six million photographs – one of the largest in Europe – is divided into four categories: historical events, the art world, portraits, and Paris. The current owners, Parisienne de la Photographie, are in the process of digitizing the collection, with 500,000 images scanned so far.

📅 Guided tours on Saturday and Sunday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, 4:00pm to 5:00pm, and 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

Agence Photo Roger Viollet, 6 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France, +01 554 289 00

Immeuble De Rapport De Robert Mallet-Stevens

Another first time participant, the apartment building by Robert Mallet-Stevens, the only one which he designed, is a superb example of Art Deco architecture. Constructed between 1928 and 1929 on a parcel of land owned by Jean Deschamps, the building, now registered as a historical monument, contains 12 apartments and two artist studios. Mallet-Stevens strove to combine architecture with the decorative arts and worked side-by-side on this project with designer Jean Prouvé, master glassmaker Louis Barillet, and lighting designer André Solomon to create a total work of art.

📅 Guided tours on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 12:30pm, 2:30pm to 3:30pm, and 4:30pm to 5:30pm.

Immeuble De Rapport De Robert Mallet-Stevens, 7 rue Méchain, 75014 Paris, France

Splendid staircase by Robert Mallet Stevens Paris

A photo posted by Ambra Medda (@ambramedda) on

Institut National des Métiers d’Art

A state-run organization, INMA‘s mission is to increase the value, recognition, and development of arts and crafts. It is particularly concerned with how skills are transferred from generation to generation. By setting up student-teacher connections, it enables expert practitioners of a craft – some of whom may be the only such person operating in the country – to pass on their knowledge to a young person. The RElève exhibition will honor such relationships created in the fields of glass blowing, gold thread embroidery, engraving, and stone carving.

📅 Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am to 6:00pm.

Institut National des Métiers d’Art, 23 Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris, France, +01 557 885 85

Hôtel Heidelbach – Musée Guimet

Built by René Sergent in 1913, the Hôtel Heidelbach is a testament to neoclassical architecture and is one of the final creations of Paris’ Belle Epoque. It now hosts the Musée Guimet, a museum dedicated to Asian art. It contains 250 statues of the Buddha collected by Émile Guimet on his travels through China and India. There will be behind-the-scenes access to renovated sections of the Hôtel Heidelbach and a special reading of Jack London’s war reporting of the Sino-Japanese war of 1904.

📅 Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:45pm.

Hôtel Heidelbach – Musée Guimet, 19 Avenue d’Iéna, Paris 75116, France, +01 565 253 00

Amazing library ! #bibliotequerotonde #library #paris #museeguimet #stunning #graphicarts #asianart

A photo posted by Nicolaslaborie (@nicolaslaborie) on

Hôtel Du Châtelet – Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi, de la Formation Professionnelle et du Dialogue Social

The iconic neoclassical building which houses the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Professional Training, and Social Dialogue was built in the 18th century for the Duke du Châtelet, a diplomat and military commander under Louis XVI. It has successively hosted the l’École des Ponts et Chaussées (a university of science, technology, and engineering), the Embassy of the Ottoman Empire, and that of the Austrian Empire, and the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. The ministry has been housed here since 1906 and visitors will be able to discover its function rooms as well as a number of conferences and exhibitions around the theme of labor.

📅 Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm

Hôtel Du Châtelet – Ministère Du Travail, De L’emploi, De La Formation Professionnelle Et Du Dialogue Social, 127 rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France, +01 443 838 38

Palais De Béhague — Ambassade De Roumanie

Henri de Régnier, the French symbolist poet, once claimed that the Béhague Palace was one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Paris. Built in Louis XV style by Gabriel Destailleur in the 18th century, it was transformed by Martine Béhague, the muse of Marcel Proust and protector of Paul Valéry, into a Byzantium of the 7th arrondissement. Now the Embassy of Romania, its eclectic architectural and artistic treasures include original woodwork, a gigantic marble staircase, a Byzantine theater, and the painting ‘Naissance de Vénus’ by François Boucher. There will be a marathon piano recital on Saturday and Sunday.

📅 Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 9:30pm.

Palais De Béhague – Ambassade De Roumanie, 123 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France, +01 470 510 46

#eyeceiling #eye #fake #ambassade #roumanie #tributetomyfather

A photo posted by xabiizindahouz (@xabiizindahouz) on

Villa Vassilieff

Constructed with leftover materials from the Exposition Universelle of 1900, the Villa Vassilieff reflects a time when Montparnasse was an enclave for Polish, Russian, Italian, and Spanish artists. Chief among them was Marie Vassilieff, whose workshop was installed here in 1908 and it soon after becoming a meeting place for the biggest names of the time including Picasso, Modigliani, Soutine, and Chagall. Now occupied by Bétonsalon, an art and research center, the original bohemian spirit of the place has been retained.

📅 Guided tours on Saturday from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Villa Vassilieff, 21 rue du Maine, 75015 Paris, France, +01 432 588 32

A photo posted by seagle65 (@seagle65) on

Maison de la RATP

If you’re looking for somewhere to go with the little ones, the Maison de la RATP could be the perfect option, as they are running a number of family-friendly workshops. There will be a reading corner, featuring stories and comic books about the history of the metro system, a photocall with Serge the Rabbit (he’s the one who reminds you not to stick your fingers in the closing doors), a drawing contest entitled ‘Imagine the metro of the future’, and a story writing session as well as face paint and origami stations.

📅 Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. A full schedule can be found be following the link to the RATP website.

Maison de la RATP, 189 rue de Bercy, 75012 Paris, France, +01 587 880 00

Pas si malheureux à la RATP…

A photo posted by Manon (@man3n) on