Grand Palais

Posted by Paris Popcorn On 3:48 PM

The Awesome Grandeur of Grand Palais

Nestled in the 8th arrondisse- ment in probably one of the most beautiful junctions in Paris is a building one can't miss, The Grand Palais ("Grand Palace"). This massive glass and cast iron exhibition hall is a real feast for the cultural-seeking-eye - simply stunning and totally worth a pop-in! What I love about this place is that while it's "arty" its also has that glorious, industrial, kick-ass feel to the place. I say this because its exterior is a blend of classical lively façade with rebellious art nouveau ironwork and its inside is so belittling, beautiful and vast in pistachio greens and mustard yellows. Every year (this year being the second year running) the Grand Palais hosts "Monumenta" in which they invite a leading artist to create and exhibit 'monumental' works of art to 'flirt' with the ginormous space and its energy – I love this concept! Indecently, I went to check out the second artist to display there, American-born revolutionary sculpture Richard Serra's work titled Promenade – which takes the form of a spectacular landscape of steel – whopping slabs of steel might I add! It's on display until June 15, 2008).

The Grand Palace has been a public exhibition hall for more than 100 years and hosted many other grand events from antique car shows to fashion extravaganzas for some of Paris’s top designers, including Dior, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent.

I even found a youtube link to Chanel's Haute Couture Spring Printemps '08 Paris show at the Grand Palais, check it out:

Before you rush off for a visit, note that there are actually three different areas in the Grand Palais, each with a different entrance: the Palais de la Découverte (a science museum) is at the Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, the Galeries National du Grand Palais (an exposition hall) has an entrance at the Clémenceau Square and the entrance to the Nef du Grand Palais (this event hall I wrote about) is at the Avenue Winston Churchill (opposite the Petit Palais). Nearest metro is Champs Elysees Clemenceau line 1 & 13

By the way, did you know that the Grand Palais is the largest existing ironwork and glass structure in the world? This place just gets even cooler!

This is me caught posing next to one of Richard Serra's steel slabs on display.