"Monument dedicated by the Republic to the glory of French art."
At front of the Grand Palais, the entrance gives you a taste of the majestic and imposing nature of the Parisian museum, built in 1897, and opened for the 1900 Universal Exhibition.
Located between the Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde, this building is an architectural feat. And the figures speak for themselves:
• There is 13 500 m2 of space under the largest glass roof in Europe;
• 6,000 tons of steel were needed to build the Nave which contains more iron than the Eiffel Tower;
• 60 tons of "reseda green" paint was used to colour the Nave;
• 200,000 tons of stone was used to construct the building.
The architecture of the Grand Palais is in itself symbolic of the tastes of the "La Belle Époque" at the turn of the twentieth century: large transparent structures made from a range of materials such as steel, iron, stone and copper.
Copper repoussé is also the material used for the sculptures, emblems of the building and the chariots, made by the painter-sculptor Georges Récipon - erected on either side of the building:
• Immortality defeating Time (1900), you will see by the Champs-Élysées;
• Harmony triumphing over Discord (1900), located by the Seine.
Within the Grand Palais there are three distinct areas: the National Gallery, the Palais de la Découverte and the Nef as well as the Petit Palais, built just opposite the main building.
The National Galleries host art exhibitions. The Palais de la Découverte is dedicated to science while Nef showcases contemporary works of art.
The Petit Palais, opposite its older cousin, is dedicated to the fine arts. For ten years, the public has been able to discover contemporary photography that has earned a place in the building.
Over the decades, exhibitions held here have helped the public discover great artists. For example Georges de la Tour, Gustave Courbet, Chardin, Monet or Nicolas Poussin ...
Since 2008, an extensive program of development and improvement has been underway to restore and enhance the Grand Palais, classed as a historical monument in 2000.