The most prominent feature of the Palais Bourbon—home of the Assemblée Nationale (or French Parliament) since 1798—is its colonnaded facade, commissioned by Napoléon to match that of the Madeleine, across the Seine. Jean-Pierre Cortot's sculpted pediment portrays France holding the tablets of Law, flanked by Force and Justice. Inside is an exquisite library with a soaring ceiling of cupolas painted by Delacroix. Visits are by guided tour only (free, in French with an English audioguide); reservations, which are essential, can be made by phone or online. Security is tight. When visiting, bring your passport as proof of identity.
Sep 1, 2014
The Palais Bourbon, a place of parliamentary life, has welcomed the National Assembly in its various forms since 1798. Italian in style, its name comes from the Duchess of Bourbon who owned the land on which the monument was built. After the death of the Duchess, vast expansion work was carried out: the courtyard was surrounded by buildings and extended west to the Hôtel Lassay. The façade consists of 12 columns, and was completed in 1810. Guided