Fodor's Expert Review Palais de la Porte Dorée

Eastern Paris Family

If you're bound for the Bois de Vincennes, pay a visit to the Palais de la Porte Dorée. Built for the 1931 Colonial Exhibition, it's one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Paris. The ornate facade features bas-relief sculptures representing France's erstwhile empire. Inside, the elaborate marble, ornate metalwork, frescoes, and original lighting are all beautifully maintained. Entry to the ground floor is free. On either end are furnished salons, one representing Asia, the other Africa (a Gucci commercial was filmed in the latter); peek into the central room, called the Forum, where restored Africa-inspired mosaics line the walls. The upper floors are occupied by the Musée Nationale de l'Historie de l'Immigration, a fascinating modern museum tracing the history of immigration in France through photographs, artworks, and first-person accounts. It's also home to blockbuster exhibits, like the recent show on king-of-the-stiletto Christian Louboutin. The... READ MORE

If you're bound for the Bois de Vincennes, pay a visit to the Palais de la Porte Dorée. Built for the 1931 Colonial Exhibition, it's one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Paris. The ornate facade features bas-relief sculptures representing France's erstwhile empire. Inside, the elaborate marble, ornate metalwork, frescoes, and original lighting are all beautifully maintained. Entry to the ground floor is free. On either end are furnished salons, one representing Asia, the other Africa (a Gucci commercial was filmed in the latter); peek into the central room, called the Forum, where restored Africa-inspired mosaics line the walls. The upper floors are occupied by the Musée Nationale de l'Historie de l'Immigration, a fascinating modern museum tracing the history of immigration in France through photographs, artworks, and first-person accounts. It's also home to blockbuster exhibits, like the recent show on king-of-the-stiletto Christian Louboutin. The basement contains L'Aquarium Tropical, a favorite among generations of Parisians, who all visited as kids, with a pair of rare albino alligators, plus 300 species of exotic marine life.  Be sure to check out the Palais's excellent program of temporary exhibitions.

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Family Historic Sight

Quick Facts

293 av. Daumesnil
Paris, Île-de-France  75012, France

01–53–59–58–60

www.palais-portedoree.fr

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Ground floor free; museum €8; aquarium €8; combined ticket €12, Closed Mon.

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