Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
French contemporary artist; Jean-Michel Othoniel is responsible for this colourful beauty.
Situated on Place Collette in front of the theatre Comédie-Française on Rue Saint Honoré.
It is different, it is profound and of course, it courses interest, excitement, bewilderment and agitation.
Not unlike the construction of the Eiffel Tower or the original metro entrances designed by Hector Guimard, art and design can polarise people.
If that was Jean-Michel Othoniel’s intention, it worked.
Originally named Palais Royal in the summer of 1900, when it was one of the first of eight stations that made up the main line one.
After the installation of I. M. Pei’s glass Pyramid and the re-opening of the Louvre in 1989, a new entrance was created and the station re-named to Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre.
The year 2000 saw the centenary of the Métro system and with it the Place Colette entrance was commissioned to Jean-Michel Othoniel to re-design the ‘kiosk’.
What could be translated as a homage and modern interpretation on Hector Guimard’s original Art Nouveau design from 100 years earlier, of iron and glass.
Jean-Michel Othoniel set about making this dramatic and colourful contemporary representation using aluminium and glass.
Twin cupolas crowning the entrance high overhead. Coloured hand blown Murano Glass from Venice dripping from the cupolas like coloured jewels.
Aluminium lacework, surrounding the stairs and the ‘legs’ or posts made from a series of aluminium baubles reflecting the glass balls, and perhaps Hector Guimard’s curvaceous posts.
No signage, to guide the lost tourist as to which metro station it might be, but Hector Guimard’s original installations did not carry metro names either, these came later.
The art installation and Metro entrance is named the Kiosque des Noctambules: Kiosk of the night-walkers. If you find yourself in need of a rest during a night time stroll near this colourful metro entrance, a bench is incorporated into the back end.
If you find yourself lost near this un-named entrance, you can be certain it is Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre, because there is no other like it in Paris. A one of a kind.
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Places nearby and on the same metro line :
- Petit Fer a ChevalThis charming, historic bar in the 4th arrondissement and the heart of the Marais, is my all time favourite. Great food, full of character and friendly staff.
- Bastille MarketsThe Bastille Markets are everything you could hope for in a typical Parisian Market; vibrant, colourful, delicious and intoxicating.
- Le Train BleuThis wonderful bustling restaurant, located in the Parisian train station, Gare de Lyon, is nothing short of spectacular, frescos, sculptures, banquette seating ...
- Jardin des TuileriesThe Tuileries history unfolds like a terrific saga. Once home to a Palace, Kings and Queens, a riding school, menagerie, hunting, fire and massacre.
- Le Cochon à l’OreilleA friendly welcome and good food is what to expect in this gorgeous tiny ancient cafe with six tables, a zinc bar, tiled murals adorning the walls. An absolute treat.
- Musée Cognacq-JayThis stunning home of Samaritaine Department store founder, Ernest Cognacq-Jay and his wife Marie-Louise Jay, includes Fragonard, Rembrandt, Cézanne ...
- Musée de la Chasse et de la NatureThis wonderfully, quirky, informative, interactive museum, doesn't take itself too seriously. Exploring the history of hunting.
- Musée CarnavaletLocated in the heart of the Marais, this museum is dedicated to the history of Paris. Boasting 600,000 pieces, ranging from the 17th to 20th centuries.
Metro Stations of Interest :
- Porte Dauphine MétroSitting in a lush green park, the Hector Guimard canopied beauty of Porte Dauphine would have to be the prettiest Métro entrance in all of Paris.
- Sentier MétroThe unique and striking blue and red signage of Sentier Métro, suspended from a spectacular façade on Rue Réaumur is the only surviving sign of two ever produced.
- Saint-Georges MétroOpposite the stunning l'hôtel de la marquise de Païva, with it's intricate façade, adorned with Gothic and Renaissance statues you will find the unique Saint-Georges métro entrance.
- Palais Royal-Musée du LouvreThe jewel of Place Colette. Murano glass beads and aluminium make up this colourful metro entrance to celebrate the centenary of the Metro.
- How to Use the Paris MetroLearn how to use the Paris Metro and look like a local. Detailed tips on how to purchase tickets and navigate the underground.