Musee d'Orsay, Paris

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    Musee d'Orsay

    by Andraf Updated May 22, 2012

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    Musee d'Orsay opened in 1986 in a beautiful building which served as a train station until 1960's. The museum is devoted to the period dating from 1848 to 1914 providing a bridge between the classical Louvre and the modern Centre Pompidou. The main attraction of the museum are the Impressionists with numerous paintings by Renoir, Monet, Manet (which is considered to be in a class of his own), Pissarro, Sisley. Included here are also the post-Impressionist Cezanne, Degas and Vincent Van Gogh. I enjoyed my visit to the Orsay a lot. The collection of Impressionist art is amazing and Musee d'Orsay is one attraction of Paris that is well worth a visit.

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    Musée d'Orsay

    by MM212 Updated May 2, 2012

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    Inaugurated in 1986, Musée d'Orsay is one of the city's newer museums. It is housed in an impressive, disused railway station (Gare d'Orsay), which was completed in 1900 for l'Exposition Universelle. The museum displays French/European art mainly from 1850 to 1920, and contains an enviable collection of paintings by famous artists of the period, such as Van Gogh, Manet, Cézanne, Monet, etc. Musée d'Orsay is a favourite of many, not only because it contains a beautiful and recognisable collection of art, but also due to its perfect size, less overwhelming than a museum such as the Louvre, but large enough to make you fulfilled after the visit.

    Mus��e d Orsay, Apr 2012 Mus��e d Orsay, Nov 2007 the Fa��ade, Nov 2007
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    OK, I FINALLY get van Gogh ...

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Mar 31, 2012

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    Given my well documented love of railway stations and enjoyment of 'popular' (some would venture 'middlebrow') art, there was never really any doubt that I was going to enjoy the Musée d'Orsay. What I find most bamboozling is why it took me half a lifetime of adult travel (and a couple of dozen visits to Paris) to make it there!

    For fear of stating the obvious, Musée d'Orsay is an art museum that has been established in a beautifully restored railway station on the Left Bank of the Seine and is exclusively devoted to the work of the Impressionists. Because Impressionist art is popular and fairly 'accessible' in its subject matter, the museum is hugely popular with both locals and tourists, and I think that one of the reasons why I've been reluctant to visit before now is that I was simply nervous at the prospect of braving the crowds.

    After a few minutes in Musée d'Orsay, you start to feel like you've been wrapped in a cosy blanket, fuelled by a smug glow of self satisfaction as you realise that you actually recognise a good deal of the art on display. It doesn't matter that you last saw that picture on a calender or a greetings card or a biscuit tin: the point is that it's familiar to you, and you can even distinguish between the Degas and the Monet. Joking aside, I think that this is hugely important, as there's a lot of elitist crap talked about art - often couched in terms that are meant to exclude and intimidate - whereas ultimately what's really important is whether it appeals to you and whether or not you can relate to it.

    Without meaning to trivialise what is an extraordinary collection, wandering around Musée d'Orsay is really like the 'Greatest Hits' compilation of 19th and early 20th century art. The quality of the exhibits is astounding, and however familiar you might be with a painting in reproduction, to see the colour and brushwork up close adds an entirely different dimension to the work. I have always been a sucker for Degas ballerinas and Renoir's poppy strewn cornfields, but I had never begun to understand the appeal of van Gogh until I saw "Starry Night Over The Rhone" up close. NOW I FINALLY GET IT!!!

    I cannot recommend this museum highly enough as one of Paris' absolute 'must sees' - right up there with my all time Parisian favourite, the Musée Rodin. I personally find it preferable to the Louvre because it has a consistent theme and is a manageable size: by contrast, the enormity and vast range of content in the Louvre collection makes me exhausted just to think about it. If you are travelling en famille, it would also be much more accessible to children than the Louvre - indeed, on the day I visited, there were lots of kids who were apparently having a good time.

    Despite my misgivings (and admittedly on a cold, damp Sunday in late February), the queues were not too fearsome, and a welcome characteristic is that the ticket will allow you to leave and re enter the museum on the day that you visit, so that you can take a break from the sensory overload.

    P.S. If you would like the definitive (and yet accessible) guide to Paris' art treasures, you could do no better than to explore the wonderful Paris page developed by brueghel ... so good that I occasionally take a browse for my own cultural edification, even if I don't have a trip to Paris planned!

    Update (October 2011): If you're an art enthusiast, then chances are that you'll also consider visiting the wonderful Rodin museum whilst you're in Paris. If so, bear in mind that it is possible to buy a combined 'passport' for Musee d'Orsay and Musee Rodin, which offers a reduction on the entry fees - see the website below for more details - or just bite the bullet and buy the Paris Museum pass (see my other travel tip).

    Detail of the railway clock at Mus��e d��rsay

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    d'Orsey Museum

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 23, 2012

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    d'Orsey Museum is situated in a building of railway station which was constructed to the World's fair of 1900, but almost was completely thrown to the beginning of the Second world war and prepared to destroy.
    In 1973 president Pompidou declared a station as a national monument and decided to create a museum, capable to contain half a century of art as a part in a circuit the Louvre (classical art) - the Center Pompidou (modern art). Works of art created from 1848 till 1920 are presented there.
    The greatest interest causes the top floor of a museum - twenty halls where the most significant assembly of products of impressionists is collected. The exposition is presented so: Degas, Monet, Renoir, Pisarro, Sisley, Sesann, Degas, Van Gogh, Manet, Gauguin, Serro, Toulouse- Lotrec.

    You can watch my 4 min 53 sec Video Paris Musee d'Orsay out of my Youtube channel.

    d'Orsey Museum d'Orsey Museum d'Orsey Museum d'Orsey Museum d'Orsey Museum
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    My Favorite Museum in Paris

    by monica71 Written Jan 16, 2012

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    I have to admit: this is by far my favorite museum in Paris! It felt so cozy to me and so welcoming that I could easily see myself going back there on my next trip to Paris. I liked it way more than the Louvre, who seemed a little bit too commercial at times. And what a good and unique idea to turn an old train station into a museum!

    Musee D'Orsay is so welcoming and so amazing that you will definitely loose track of time. Start your visit from the 5th floor, it will be much easier on you and on your feet. They may be hurting by the time you finish visiting the Impressionism gallery!

    There is an extensive collection of sculptures by Rodin that will take your breath away. And you will also see the "Small Dancer" sculpture that Degas is well known for.

    I was in awe the whole time I was inside the museum. I was planning a visit to the Rodin Museum afterwards, but I was so overwhelmed by the art I have seen here that I have decided to skip the Rodin Museum and let the art of D'Orsay Museum sink in.

    One tip: since you are here, make sure you stop by the amazing clock on the 5th floor. Take a picture and lose yourself in the beauty of Paris and the Seine that you will have from the window.

    Inside the museum the clock view of the city through the museum clock
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    A museum which disappointed me!

    by gordonilla Written Sep 4, 2011

    I have to admit that i was a little disappointed by the Musee d'Orsay. there was quite a lot to see, but there were many rooms closed and those that were open were either very crowded or had little of interest to view.

    Art is very personal, but I found that the offering here was a little limited. Additionally they did not permit photographs of any kind to be taken.

    I queued for some 57 minutes to get into the museum.

    TIP: buy a joint ticket with L'Orangerie, there is a second entrance with a very much smaller queue.

    Buskers outside the Museum Armed Military Guards around the Museum The Queue Statue 1 Statue 2

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    My favourite museum.

    by breughel Updated Jul 2, 2011

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    TRANSFORMATIONS IN 2010 and 2011 ! SEE MY NEW TIP
    LEVEL 5 IS CLOSED.

    You will have understood from my comments on Orsay, that this is my preferred museum for the quality of the exposed works but also for the architecture of the former station of Orsay. I like the complexity of the plan, the level differences, the big clock, the views.
    But the museum is also a victim of its success (3 million visitors in 2006). To avoid crowds I arrive at the opening at 09.30h at the entrance for the museum pass holders; from there I walk directly by the central aisle of the ground floor to the bottom of the museum on the left side. Behind the wall is an escalator which rises directly to the level 5 so that I start my visit in an almost empty part (for some time at least - photo 1).
    Another pleasure with this museum is the restaurant at the median level (restaurant from the former station hotel, photo 2).
    Magnificent decor, correct food, efficient often kind service, normal prices for Paris. The painted décor of the ceiling and walls is of Benjamin Constant and Gabriel Ferrier. I advise you to arrive at the opening at 11.45 am. Tearoom in the after noon and dinner on Thursdays evening.

    Open 9.30 - 18 h (on Thursday 21.45 h). Closed on Monday.
    Tickets can be bought from 9 h on.
    Price 8 €. Reduced 18 - 30 yr 5,50 €. Free less than 18 yr or 18 - 25 yr from the EU .
    It is now possible to buy a combined ticket Musée d'Orsay and Musée Rodin at 12 €.
    It is also possible to get a combined ticket Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie at 13 € valid from Wednesday till Sunday.



    =======================================

    Mon musée favori.

    NOUVEAU: TRANSFORMATIONS EN 2010 et 2011. Voir mon nouveau commentaire.

    Vous aurez compris, si vous avez lu mes commentaires, que c'est mon musée préféré à Paris, pour la qualité des œuvres exposées mais aussi pour l'architecture de l'ancienne gare d'Orsay. J'aime la complexité du plan, les différences de niveau, la grande horloge, la salle des Fêtes ou le restaurant.
    J'apprécie l'éclairage diffus et naturel venant du plafond au niveau 5 qui permet de bonnes photos.
    Pour éviter les foules je monte directement par l'escalator au fond du musée au niveau 5 des impressionnistes. Je commence ainsi la visite par une partie presque vide (pendant quelque temps - photo 1).

    L'autre plaisir est le restaurant au niveau médian aménagé dans l'ancien l'hôtel de la gare. Cadre splendide, nourriture correcte, service efficace souvent aimable, prix normaux pour Paris. Le décor peint est de Benjamin-Constant et Gabriel Ferrier.

    Alone at Orsay ! Restaurant at Orsay
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    Vincent Van Gogh at Orsay.

    by breughel Updated Jul 2, 2011

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    Van Gogh is well represented by 20 works in room 35 at the upper level of Orsay.
    I prefer these works to most of those I saw recently at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (ref. my Amsterdam tip). The quality of all the 20 works of room 35 is excellent with highlights such as "Les roulottes, campement de bohémiens aux environs d'Arles" (photo 1), "L'église d'Auvers-sur-Oise, vue du chevet" (photo 2), "Fritillaires couronne impériale dans un vase de cuivre" (photo 3) and the portrait of "Le docteur Paul Gachet" (photo 4).
    But there is more for me: I discovered Van Gogh, when I was 7 years old, from reproductions of these works in a calendar. I presume that these paintings now at Orsay "impregnated" me when I was a kid and opened my liking for impressionism.

    Open 9.30 - 18 h (on Thursday 21.45 h). Closed on Monday.
    Tickets can be bought from 9 h on.
    Price 8 €. Reduced 18 - 30 yr 5,50 €. Free less than 18 yr or 18 - 25 yr from the EU .
    It is now possible to buy a combined ticket Musée d'Orsay and Musée Rodin and at 12 €.
    It is also possible to get a combined ticket Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie at 13 € valid from Wednesday till Sunday.

    TRANSFORMATIONS IN 2011 ! SEE MY NEW TIP
    LEVEL 5 IS CLOSED.

    ========================================

    Je préfère les Van Gogh de la salle 35 à Orsay à l'ensemble de ceux que j'ai vu récemment au Musée Van Gogh d'Amsterdam (réf. ma page Amsterdam).
    Pourquoi?
    La qualité de cette vingtaine de Van Gogh est excellente comme "l' Eglise d'Auvers", "Les roulottes", "Fritillaires dans un vase de cuivre" ou encore le portrait de Paul Gachet mais il y a surtout le fait que j'ai découvert Van Gogh, quand j'avais 7 ans, par les reproductions de ces tableaux ci dans un calendrier.
    Je suppose que ce sont ces œuvres actuellement au Musée d'Orsay qui m'ont "imprégné" et m'ont donné le goût pour les impressionnistes en général.

    Orsay - Van Gogh Orsay - Van Gogh Van Gogh Orsay - Van Gogh
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    An Impressionist Triptych.

    by breughel Updated Jul 2, 2011

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    The museum has put together in one frame 3 landscape paintings of different impressionist painters: Sisley, Pissarro and Monet (from left to right) forming a kind of triptych.
    The style of these three impressionist painters is very close in these landscapes; the visitor might hesitate about who belongs to whom. In other works Monet marks his difference with Pissaro or Sisley.

    In this large room 32 from the upper level are many other paintings all of excellent quality from Monet, Pissaro, Sisley and Renoir. I dare say it is the best room of the upper level.
    Among my favoured paintings in this room 32 there are the "Régates à Argentueil" from Monet, from Pissarro "la Bergère" and from Sisley the famous "Inondations à Port-Marly". There is also that highlight of Renoir "Le Bal au Moulin de la Galette" with the wonderful play of sunny spots and shade.

    Open 9.30 - 18 h (on Thursday 21.45 h). Closed on Monday.
    Tickets can be bought from 9 h on.
    Price 8 €. Reduced 18 - 30 yr 5,50 €. Free less than 18 yr or 18 - 25 yr from the EU .

    TRANSFORMATIONS IN 2011 ! SEE MY NEW TIP
    LEVEL 5 IS CLOSED.


    =================================

    Triptyque impressionniste.

    Avoir réuni en un seul cadre 3 tableaux de différents peintres impressionnistes comme Sisley "L'île Saint-Denis", Pissarro "Entrée de village de Voisins" et Monet "Bateaux de plaisance" (de gauche à droite) est une idée originale. On a là un véritable triptyque de paysages de l'école impressionniste.
    On remarquera que les styles et la facture de ces trois tableaux de peintres différents sont très proches à tel point qu'on peut hésiter à définir qui appartient à qui.
    Il est évident que ces trois oeuvres ont été groupées à cause de leur ressemblance et qu'un Monet, par exemple, s'écartera fortement de ce style dans bien d'autres œuvres. Personnellement en matière de paysages mon préféré est Sisley.

    Cette grande salle 32 comporte bien d'autres belles œuvres de Monet, Pissarro et Sisley ainsi que le merveilleux "Bal au Moulin de la Galette" avec les jeux d'ombre et de lumière qui font de ce tableau l'un des plus appréciés de Renoir.

    Orsay - Sisley, Pissarro, Monet Orsay - Renoir Orsay - Sisley Orsay - Pissarro Orsay - Monet
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    From a Train Station to Museum

    by cjg1 Updated Jun 24, 2011

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    Musée d'Orsay was once a railway station, the Gare d'Orsay. The Museum houses mainly French Art from 1848-1915. The museum features paintings, sculpture, furniture and photography. The sculpture in the museum is beautiful and the detail is incredible. They have many works by Monet, Degas, Renoir, and Cezanne, which we enjoyed. Liz is a big fan of impressionism so she loves any museum that has an extensive collection of her favorite impressionists.

    The main hall definitely reminds me of a rail station. The glass roof of the center hall brings a nice amount of light into the building which creates a nice, open feel inside. We had an audio guide of the museum which I think is a great way to see a museum such as this. We were able to walk at our own pace and see what we wanted to see and fast-forward through what we wanted to skip.

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    "Manet, inventeur du Moderne" exhibition.

    by breughel Updated May 31, 2011

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    A recent poll in the "Le Figaro" showed that 62% of readers prefer Monet to Manet. I also do. However I think that the special exhibition "Manet, inventor of the Modern" held at the Musée d'Orsay until July 3, 2011 will be a success, but perhaps less than the recent Monet exhibition in the Grands Palais.
    For almost 30 years, Edouard Manet (1832-1883), a leading French painter of the nineteenth century, has undergone no major retrospective in France.

    For Manet one wonders if he is among the latest classic painters or among the first modern? The Orsay Museum is interested in the question with an exhibition of 200 paintings, drawings and photographs, locating the painter Edouard Manet in his time between the reaffirmed legacy of Romanticism, the impact of his contemporaries and the media flow of his time.
    It is an outsized figure, fascinated by the great Spanish masters, friend of Baudelaire, Delacroix and Mallarmé.

    My favoured paintings of Manet, all at Orsay, are "Le Balcon" (photo 1) and "Le Fifre" (photo 2).
    I feel puzzled by the "Déjeuner sur l'herbe" (photo 3), by the contrast between the two men fully dressed in a frock coat and the naked woman.
    The naked woman was named Victorine and served also as a model for "Olympia".
    What surprises and what was in opposition with the customs of nude painting of those times is that Victorine is looking shamelessly and straight into the eyes of the spectator who feels as a participant to that "Déjeuner sur l'herbe"!

    Open: 9.30 - 18 h, Thursday 21.45h. Manet exhibition open on Saturdays til 20 h
    Closed: Mondays, 1/01, 1/05 & 25/12.
    MANET EXHIBITION ticket, with TIMED ENTRY + permanent collections.
    Full rate € 10; reduced 7,50 € for 18 - 25 yr not EU; 2,50 € 18 - 25 yr EU citizens.
    Free: 18 yr, everyone on 1st Sunday of the month.

    ==================

    Un récent sondage dans "Le Figaro" indiquait que 62% des lecteurs préféraient Monet à Manet. C'est mon cas. Néanmoins je crois que l'exposition spéciale "Manet, inventeur du Moderne" qui se tient au Musée d'Orsay jusqu'au 3 juillet 2011 sera un succès, mais peut-être moindre que la récente exposition Monet aux Grands Palais.

    Depuis presque 30 ans, Edouard Manet (1832-1883), un des grands peintres français du XIXe siècle, n’a fait l’objet d’aucune rétrospective importante en France.

    Pour Manet on peut se demander s'il se situe parmi les derniers peintres classiques ou parmi les premiers modernes ? Le Musée d'Orsay s'intéresse à la question avec son exposition de 200 peintures, dessins et photographies; elle veut situer le peintre Edouard Manet dans son temps, entre l'héritage réaffirmé du romantisme, l'impact de ses contemporains et le flux médiatique de son époque.
    C'est un personnage hors normes, fasciné par les grands maîtres espagnols, ami de Baudelaire, Delacroix et Mallarmé.

    Mes tableaux préférés de Manet, tous à Orsay, sont "Le Balcon" et "Le Fifre".
    Les deux nus de Manet "Olympia" et surtout le "Déjeuner sur l'herbe", déchaînèrent les sarcasmes et critiques au Salon de 1863. J'avoue que le contraste entre les deux messieurs en redingote et la dame nue m'interpelle.
    La dame nue s'appelait Victorine et servit aussi de modèle pour "Olympia".
    Ce qui surprend et était en opposition avec les usages des peintures de nus de l'époque c'est que Victorine tourne son regard fixe sans aucune pudeur vers le spectateur qui se sent présent au "Déjeuner sur l'herbe".

    Manet Manet Manet Manet Manet
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    Priority Queue at Musee D'Orsay

    by yukisanto Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    The civette du carousel tabac (selling souvenirs, drinks, cigerettes and other knick-knacks) at the carousel du louvre sells advance tickets for the Lourve and Orsay, as well as the museum pass. Coming out from the Palais Royal Lourve Rivoli metro, the tabac is on the right of the underground exit into the carousel du louvre. The advance tickets are valid any day up till a year.

    BUY THE ADVANCE TICKETS. You will thank yourself for it. With an advance ticket, you just go to Queue C, where you only need to go through security check lines. I went in Apr on a Tuesday at 10am, Queue C on the right had around 100+ppl while Queue A (normal) on the left had 2-3x more people and slower moving. It took me about 15mins to get into the museum via Queue C.

    The tabac in front of Musee D'Orsay sells museum pass, which also gets you into the priority queue, think they sell the advance tickets as well, not sure.

    No photos inside the Museum. Stroll through, admire the sculptures and paintings, take a seat along the gallery on the 2nd level and soak in the atmosphere. It's a nice lazy way to pass a few hours.

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    RENOIR - Les danseurs.

    by breughel Updated Apr 15, 2011

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    This long tip was written in French and separately in English at a time where VT limited the number of characters.

    Le musée d'Orsay comporte une belle collection d'œuvres de d'Auguste Renoir dont deux grands tableaux de danseurs m'ont impressionné dès ma première visite.
    Il s'agit de "Danse à la campagne" et "Danse à la ville" (1883) appartenant à la deuxième période appelée "Ingresque" ou "sèche" parce que le dessin se fait plus net, le contour plus précis que dans sa première période "impressionniste" (1864-1883). En cette année Renoir écrit "J'étais allé jusqu'au bout de l'impressionnisme et j'arrivais à cette constatation que je ne savais ni peindre ni dessiner." Etonnant cette remise en cause de ce maître de l'art impressionniste.
    Il en résulta trois tableaux de couples de danseurs dont deux ici au musée d'Orsay, salle 39, le troisième à Boston.
    J'ai été particulièrement séduit par ces couples danseurs. L'homme penché en avant murmure des choses tendres à l'oreille de sa compagne; elle, belle femme aux cheveux d'un roux naturel, se tient bien droite. L'on sait qu'il s'agit de Suzanne Valadon qui fut également modèle de Puvis de Chavannes, de Toulouse-Lautrec et devint elle-même peintre et mère du peintre Utrillo.

    Après sa courte période "ingresque" de 1883 à 1890, Renoir entre dans sa période "nacrée"
    Le terme désigne bien la forme, couleur, lumière et volupté de cette période pendant laquelle il peint de nombreuses "baigneuses".
    Dans la même salle 39 se trouvent deux très beaux tableaux de sa période nacrée: "Jeunes filles au piano" (1892) et "Grand nu" (1907).

    Renoir fut un peintre très prolifique: plus de 4000 tableaux!

    Orsay - Renoir Orsay - Renoir Orsay - Renoir
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    Another fascinating Paris museum

    by spgood301 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Musee d'Orsay specializes in more modern art than the Louvre, especially painting and scuplure from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The masters from that period are exhibited here: Rodin, Manet, Gaugin, Renior & Monet, just to name a few. Impressionist, Neo-Impressionist, Art Noveau are all represented here.

    The building that houses the Musee d'Orsay was, at one time, a railroad station, a sense you get when you spend time here. The station was built in time for the 1900 World Fair. The building served many other purposes, including as the set for many films, until 1986 when it was re-christened as the Musee d'Orsay. It's now one of the top museums and indeed, attractions, in all of Paris.

    I spent a little over three hours at the Musee d'Orsay - you won't need nearly as much time as you would in the Louvre, for example. It's located in the St. Germain des Pres section of Paris, right on the Left Bank.

    Musee d'Orsay, Paris Inside the Musee.  It was a train station once. Some sculpture from Musee d'Orsay More sculpture from Musee d'Orsay
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    From Railway Station to World-Class Museum

    by chatterley Written Mar 17, 2011

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    The museum building used to be a railway station. Located on the left bank of the River Seine, this museum is smaller in comparison to The Lourve. However, it has the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world. Lots of Renoirs, Cézannes, Gauguins etc in this museum.

    We used our PARIS MUSEUM PASS to gain free admission to this museum (there is a separate entrance for pass-holders). Like The Lourve, if you want some peace and quiet while admiring the masterpieces, you'd need to arrive at the entrance early and queue up. Having said that, the queue is quite alright, not as crazy as the ones at The Lourve!

    Please note that photography is not allowed in the museum.

    Mus��e d'Orsay (picture taken on River Seine)

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