One of the city’s beloved landmarks, the Grand Palais is visible from across Paris, its enormous glass roof illuminated at night. In this photo essay, I hope to illuminate its splendor in 10 images. On Sunday November 24, 2019, the Grand Palais hosted an event, in partnership with Spotr, for photographers and the general public to partake in a free photo tour. Some of my resulting photos portray pre-pandemic moments of normalcy with visitors freely wandering around the exhibition space. Indeed, many of us may be feeling nostalgic for the time before covid-19. But one day soon, we will serenely enjoy the beauty of this place once again…
Are you nostalgic for a monument in the City of Light? Please share your story in the comments section below.
The monument’s history, in a few words
The Grand Palais is situated on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in the 8th arrondissement, not far from the majestic Pont Alexandre III on the River Seine.
The imposing landmark was erected for the 1900 World Fair. It was a feat of industrial architecture at that time. The Grand Palais was built in less than three years with 200,000 tonnes of stone, 14,900-sqm of glass and 9,056 tons of steel! Its structure even weighed more than the Eiffel Tower.
In the 19th century, Paris was infused with the profound artistic vitality of the Belle Époque. The architecture’s elegant design is thus entwined with French art: its opulent interior features an Art Nouveau style Grand Staircase supported by dramatic columns, and unveils an unparalleled, curved-glass roof which is the largest in Europe.
This year, the monument celebrates its 120 years as it opened its doors on May 5, 1900, and continues to leave us in awe.
The Grand Palais hosts every year an abundance of prestigious fashion and cultural events such as the FIAC, the Biennale, Paris Photo, the Saut Hermès or the Chanel fashion shows, to name a few.
The Nave and the Grand Palais was respectively classified as historic monuments in 1975 and 2000.
The outstanding masterpiece is undoubtedly an iconic heritage of the City of Light and has remained an essential cultural destination over time.
For an immersive experience, you can explore the monument with a virtual visit here.
The Grand Palais will reopen on July 1st with the talked-about Pompeii exhibition. Looking ahead, the Black and White Photography exhibition (“Noir et Blanc : une esthétique de la photographie”) will open on November 12.
A historic renovation coming soon! From January 2021, the Grand Palais will temporarily close its doors for a major modernization project. It will reopen to host the Olympic Games in 2024. During this four-year period of time, the renowned cultural events will be maintained. The City of Paris has decided to install an “Ephemeral” Grand Palais on the Champ-de-Mars at the beginning of 2021.
The Grand Palais is located at Avenue Winston Churchill in the 8th arrondissement.
For more information, you can go to the website of the Grand Palais here.
By Sarah Fauvel
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