Centre Pompidou: The nice monster of Paris

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Reviewed on 03/12/2012 | 1 Review

Photo: © AFP, Loic Venance, Boris Horvart, MAP

What exactly is the Centre Pompidou, in Paris better known as Beaubourg? A museum, yes, and one of the best in Paris. But also a library, some movie houses, a restaurant, shops, you name it. I love Beaubourg. And in short I would say it’s one of the most attractive spots in town, appealing to young and old. And even if you reach for your gun when you hear the word culture, Beaubourg is worth a visit simply for the breathtaking view it offers over Paris.

Beaubourg is strange: I wouldn’t say that the building is beautiful. It looks like a kind of space shuttle with red, green, yellow and blue tubes  and ducts representing the metabolism of this urban living thing. The blue ones are for the air, the green ones for the water, yellow stands for electricity and red is the blood flowing through the building. In other words: you, the visitor in the escalators and lifts  and everything that concerns communication.

It still works perfectly

Designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and opened in 1977, the Centre Pompidou didn’t loose its modernity and still works perfectly. With several million visitors each year, the building is on the list of the most visited places in Paris, just after Notre-Dame, Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur and the Louvre.

People go there just to see the latest temporary exhibition, to view a film, to consult a book in the library, to meet friends, to listen to a lecture on arts, to dine in the fancy restaurant called “Georges”, one of the numerous addresses of the Costes brothers, where the view is better than the food. But so what, the décor is so hype, the waiters look like casted, that you better don’t care about what’s in your plate, but just feel part of the hype tribe.

A breathtaking view and a breathtaking collection

Beside being an attraction for itself, Beaubourg houses the national collection of modern art including paintings of the surrealists, the cubists as well as pop and contemporary art. Every year they proceed to do at least a partial rehang to show different works from a collection that counts more than 50,000 works. After big retrospectives of Alexander Calder, Kandinsky and an all-women show, it’s Matisse who’s on display right now.

When you visit for the permanent or a temporary exhibition, head to the ticket stalls on the ground floor, only then move further up to level four (art since 1960) or five (all the temporary exhibitions and works from 1905 until 1960). There are cheaper tickets, named “panorama tickest” (3 €) in case you just want to enjoy the view.

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou
75004 Paris
01 44 78 12 33
Métro: Rambuteau  or Hôtel de Ville  
Open every day from 11am-9pm, on Thursay until 11pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
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Centre Pompidou: The nice monster of Paris, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

User reviews

  1. Azarwado 18 July 2012 Reply

    merveilleux Centre Pompidou. A douze ans, je m’y trouve, amenée par un oncle benvieillant, une classe en voyage scolaire, je ne sais plus et je tombe devant les études papier des vitraux de la Chapelle Saint Vence de Matisse ! Eblouissement. je m’en souviens encore. Je me suis assise. J’ai rêvé. et c’est là, au Musée national d’art moderne-Centre Pompidou que s’est forgée l’idée de l’histoire de l’art, confusément : je travaillerai là, au Centre Pompidou . 15 ans plus tard j’y entrais pour préparer la réouverture et participer à un moment extraordinaire de la vie de cet établissement. Avec une équipe que je n’oublierai jamais, des amis désormais. J’y ai même rencontré l’AMOUR ! Mon moos, que j’ai épousé c’est dire si ce foutu paquebot a de l’importance ! donc LONGUE VIE AU CENTRE ! et BRAVO. Hier c’était la fête : madame Pompidou sur l’estrade, très chic en tailleur d’homme et pull col roulé orange vif ! 90 ans. émouvant. Sous le portrait cinétique de son mari. Applaudissements. Le centre était une belle vision qui tient toujours la route.

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