Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture in Paris is a center devoted to studying and maintenance of various movements in art (painting, graphic arts, sculpture, photo art, silent cinema, music, choreography, theater, architecture, etc.). More commonly it is known as “Center Georges Pompidou” or “Center Beaubourg” since it is located in the Beaubourg quarter of the 4 th district of Paris.
Centre Georges Pompidou – a mixture of architectural styles
In 1969, Georges Pompidou, during the first year of his presidential term, set a course for a technical modernization of the country, and as a great connoisseur of art, he decided to create a cultural center on a vacant space in the quarter of Beaubourg. Immediately, a contest was announced for the best architectural project of the building, where 681 participants from 50 countries took part.
The international jury selected a project developed by three young architects: Renzo Piano, Gianfranco Franchini, and Richard Rogers. The project proposed to build a glass building in the form of a parallelepiped with escalators, and part of the structures and some elements to bring outside thereby expanding the exhibition area. During the process of designing, it was determined to paint external pipes, cables and wires in different colors: red, yellow, green, blue and white, depending on their function. In the exterior of the complex three architectural styles are used: brutalism, structural expressionism and postmodern architecture.
The official opening ceremony took place on January 31, 1977. However, a bold architectural decision had caused a lot of negative criticism, as the building of the Pompidou Center went out of the architectural style of this quarter, and its dimensions were too huge for the center of Paris: its length is 166 m, width - 60 m, and height - 42 m.
Despite mixed assessments of contemporaries, the Centre Georges Pompidou has become one of the visiting cards of Paris, and it is the third most visited Parisian attraction after the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
What to see in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris
Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture is popular not only for its exhibitions. There are cinemas, concert halls, a theater, a library, as well as the Museum of Modern Art, the Center for Industrial Design and the Institute for Study and Coordination of Acoustics and Music.
In the large area in front of the complex, the action is day and night. Street artists, mimes, musicians, artists and just passers-by gather here to make and watch an interesting performance. The spectators of this merriment settle usually right on the ground.
Museum of Modern Art
The National Museum of Modern Art contains a collection of 60,000 exhibits in such art movements as painting, design, architecture, photography, installation, video and multimedia. The permanent and temporary exhibitions are presented here.
Besides the works of contemporaries, the museum contains paintings of such famous painters of the twentieth century as Kandinsky, Modigliani, Matisse, and Picasso.
Public Information Library
The library occupies three floors of the Pompidou Centre and stores a vast collection of artistic, educational and technical literature. In addition to printed materials, video and audio recordings can be found here. The entrance to the library is free.
The external view of the Pompidou Centre is harmoniously combined with installations exposed inside. Different compositions made of glass, wood, plastic, fabric and other materials can be found in the showrooms. Here you can stumble on scattered clothes or multicolored gigantic banners depicting human organs. Expositions are changed often and you never know what an amazing thing the museum is going to show you the next time.
Such designer boutiques as Printemps and Flammarion arts bookstores are situated on the territory of the museum, where you can buy goods for art, different souvenirs, books on contemporary art, and many others.
Art workshops for kids
Various master-classes are conducted at the Centre Beaubourg, where experienced craftsmen teach children to draw and mold.
The Stravinsky Fountain
Between the Pompidou Centre and the Church of Saint-Merri, you can find the Place Igor- Stravinsky. In order to beautify the square, in 1983 a Swiss architect Jean Tinguely created and developed a basin on the surface of which he placed 16 mobile sculptures. The vivid figures are moving on the water to the Stravinsky music. This unusual construction that bears the name of Stravinsky Fountain, and that is so fancied by Parisians and the tourists, has become a part of the Art Center George Pompidou.
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Working Hours and Ticket Prices
Working hours: from 11 am to 9 pm.
On Thursdays, the temporary expositions on the 6th level are open until 11 pm.
The ticket office is closed one hour before museum closing.
The museum is closed: every Tuesday and the 1st of May.
1. Tickets for exposition, museum and viewing platform attendance:
Full price ticket – 14 €;
Reduced – 11 €.
2. Ticket for viewing platform attendance is 5 €.
3. Ticket for show attendance (price depends on a show):
Full price ticket – from 10 to 18 €;
Reduced – from 5 to 14 €.
4. “Paris Museum Pass” ticket can be used in 60 museums and sights of Paris, and also in the region of Île-de-France:
2 days ticket – 48 €;
4 days ticket – 62 €;
6 days ticket – 74 €.
Attention! The ticket prices are indicated as of December 2017; to verify the effective prices, please visit the official website.
Where the Centre Georges Pompidou is situated and how to get there
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France.
How to get
Metropolitan (the nearest stations):
Rambuteau (line 11);
Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 or 11);
Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 or 14).
RER: station Châtelet-Les Halles (lines A, B, D).
By bus: №29, 38, 47, 75 till the station Centre Georges Pompidou.
By bicycle from Vélib (the nearest rental stores):
№ 4020 at the address: 27 rue Quincampoix;
№ 3014 at the address: 34 rue Grenier Saint-Lazare;
№ 3010 at the address: 46 rue Beaubourg.
Centre Georges-Pompidou: features of attendance
The Restaurant Georges is located on the territory of the Centre Pompidou, where you can both have a tasty meal and admire the landscapes of Paris.
Working hours (daily, except Tuesdays): 12 pm to 2 am.
To attend the museum halls, it is necessary to leave big bags and rucksacks, umbrellas, baby- slings, big earphones, selfie sticks, cameras together with stands and flashings in the wardrobe.
Maximum luggage size: length – 35 см, width – 15 см, depth – 30 см.
Attention! It is forbidden to enter the museum with a big luggage.
The wardrobe is located on zero level and is open from 11:00 am to 9:50 pm.
For disabled people:
wheelchairs are provided at the wardrobe, at the entrance to the museum, in the hall of temporary exhibitions;
visiting accompanied by a guide dog is allowed;
ticket offices and cinema halls 1 and 2 are equipped with sound amplifiers for hearing impaired people;
entry without waiting in line for persons with reduced mobility and visual impairments.
After visiting the Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture, you should see the amazing Sacre Coeur - a snow-white basilica, which leads to 237 steps. The temple of Sacre Coeur is one of the most visited places for tourists and pilgrims.
The Musée d'Orsay exhibition includes European artists’ paintings and sculptures of the mid-XIX — early XX century. The biggest display is located in a three-story building which prior to that used to be a railway station.