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Orsay Travel Guide

Musée d'Orsay - Rhinocéros par Jacquemart - 24-12-2007 - 19h17

Orsay or Quai d’Orsay (7th Arrondissement) is a neighborhood in Paris that is not far from the Eiffel Tower and located on the left bank of the Seine River. Characterized by old-fashioned apartments and private town houses, you’ll also find embassies, museums, and gorgeous residences in Orsay.[1] The Quai on rue de Bac was also once the backyard so to speak of many French artists who set up their canvasses along the banks of the river.[2]

The main attraction in Orsay is Les Invalides, which is a huge assembly of Renaissance buildings. Many consider the collection of buildings at Les Invalides to be the most impressive in Paris. The construction of Les Invalides or Hôtel des Invalides was originally built by Louis XIV to house wounded soldiers. Today, you’ll find the buildings used for museums and churches; among them include the Musée de l’Armée, Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération, Musée des Plans-Reliefs, the church of St Louis-des-Invalides and the Dôme church. This latter church, in particular, houses the tomb of Napoléon.[3]

Another prominent building in Orsay is the Palais Bourbon with its colonnaded façade. It is the home of the French Parliament, originally commissioned by Napoléon.[4]

There are two notable museums in Orsay: the Musée Rodin and the Musée du Quai Branly. The former is dedicated to the works of France’s greatest sculptor, Auguste Rodin, who lived and worked at the 18th century mansion, Hôtel Biron, which now house the museum. Musée Rodin’s gardens also have a stunning variety of some 2,000 rose bushes.[5] The Musée du Quai Branly, on the other hand, was only recently opened in 2006 and yet contains over 300,000 art objects from indigenous cultures and civilizations from all over the world.[6]

Les Invalides
Palais Bourbon
Musée Rodin
Musée du Quai Branly

DK Publishing. Europe (Eyewitness Travel Guides), Revised Edition. New York: DK Travel, 2004. ISBN: 0789497301.

Fisher, Robert I. C., and Fodor’s. Fodor’s France. New York: Fodor’s Travel Publications, 2007. ISBN: 1400016878.

“Musée de Quai Branly.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus%C3%A9e_du_quai_Branly>

“Quai d’Orsay.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quai_d%27Orsay>

[1] Fisher, 82
[2] Quai
[3] DK, 162-63
[4] Fisher, 88
[5] DK, 162-63
[6] Musée

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