Chauffeured van transfer from CDG airport to the Petit Palais in Paris


History and Visit of the Petit Palais in Paris

The Petit Palais, situated directly across from the Grand Palais on the Champs Elysees in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, stands as a historical monument now serving as a museum, commonly referred to as the “Museum of Fine Arts in Paris.” This splendid structure was constructed for the fifth universal exhibition held in Paris, with Charles Girault being the esteemed architect behind its design.

Although the Petit Palais may not boast the vast size of the Grand Palais, it possesses a unique charm of its own. The architecture harmoniously blends with the picturesque surroundings: the building is set within a semi-circular garden on the Square of the beater, offering visitors stunning views of the Seine. To access the exhibition spaces, guests are directed to the first floor, as the ground level was initially intended for administrative offices and various storage areas. Despite its designation as the “Small” Palace, the facade impressively spans 150 meters in length, featuring Ionic columns that twist diagonally, mirroring the peristyle’s design that complements the external garden.

The building’s aesthetic appeal is further enhanced by numerous ornamental bas-reliefs. Jean Antoine Injalbert, a renowned sculptor from Beziers, was tasked with creating several sculptural elements, including those adorning the tympanum. The Petit Palais boasts decorative elements that symbolize the city of Paris, embraced by muses. Charles Girault’s initial vision was to bathe the interior in natural light, achieved through the installation of transparent domes and expansive windows. The architectural structure of the Petit Palais shares similarities with two other projects by Charles Girault: the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and the Saigon Opera House in Vietnam, drawing inspiration across his works.

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