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Delve into France's History and Art Scene

Louvre Pyramid Paris
Entrance to old port Marseille

Delve into France's History and Art Scene

story by: House of Travel

If there's one thing France does well, (and let's be honest, the country certainly has plenty more to boast!) it is museums and galleries. The history and culture of this country is truly inspiring, and it's all too easy to get caught up in the magic of trawling through halls and rooms dripping with art and relics.

If you are jetting off to France in the next little while, save yourself some planning time and follow this guide to the creme de la creme of French museums and art galleries. 

Paris wouldn't be Paris without the Louvre. It's one of the most famous museums in the world, and is indeed the largest and most-visited anywhere on Earth. In fact, each year nearly 10 million people flock to the magnificent building, which is open every day apart from Tuesday. Evening hours operate on Wednesdays and Fridays, which is perfect for those who want a different perspective.

The Louvre has been a museum since 1793 and currently holds more than 73,000 square metres of Western artwork stretching all the way back to the Middle Ages. You'll be blown away by the 35,000 different pieces of art that are expertly displayed throughout the museum, with some pieces dating back to a time more than 7,000 years ago. There's truly something for everyone here, with eight curatorial departments showcasing the following: Greek and Etruscan works, Egyptian, Near Eastern and Roman Antiquities, Paintings, Sculptures, Islamic Art, Decorative Arts and Prints and Drawings.

Take a guided tour or explore the impressive space yourself. Just make sure you set aside a good amount of time to do so - the lines can get long for the Louvre!

Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris is brand new and hosts some of the best contemporary art anywhere in the world. Described as a space for art and culture, architect Frank Gehry is the brains behind the incredible building's design, which features 12 glass sails alongside steel structures.

Guests are urged to discover and interact with artworks from the 20th and 21st century, with artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Thomas Shutte and Bertrand Lavier all showcasing work. It's not just traditional art forms that will be on display here - musicians including Kraftwerk and Lang Lang will also feature at the Fondation, and there's an onsite bookshop and restaurant to round out the experience.

Historical Museum of Strasbourg
Strasbourg has a whole host of museums for you to discover, so set aside plenty of time to peruse the many monuments on display here. The Historical Museum is particularly interesting as it's located in the city's old slaughterhouse, with a collection that spans Strasbourg's cultural, social, political and economic history. There are paintings, graphic art, models and military weapons and uniforms on show here, with 1,325 objects and relics contained within the building.

Three major periods dominate the collections: the Germanic Holy Roman Empire from 1262-1681, the Royal city (1681-1789) and the birth of a modern metropolis (19th and 20th centuries).

Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations
The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, also known as the MuCEM, is located in Marseille and faces the open sea in a truly stunning setting. Dedicated to the cultures of the Mediterranean, the MuCEM covers three different sites and 44,000 square metres. Enjoy major exhibitions along with concerts, film screenings, lectures and debates. The collection here is huge, with almost 250,000 objects, 450,000 photographs, 110,000 paintings, drawings and prints and nearly 100,000 books and periodicals. 

No matter where you go in France for your hit of art and history, make sure you set aside plenty of time to explore this enchanting city and all its secrets.

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