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scat_cat Jul 29th, 2007 09:07 PM

Journées du Patrimoine in Paris 2007?
I'll be in Paris during this year's Journées du Patrimoine (16-17 September) and I'm having a hard time (with my not-all-that-terrible French reading abilities) figuring out what's going on in Paris at that time. Something about industrial sites and brass bands?

I don't understand spoken French well enough to follow a tour -- and my boyfriend doesn't speak French at all -- but I'd love to see interesting cultural sites that aren't usually open to the public. Any chance this year?

kerouac Jul 30th, 2007 12:32 AM

The main thing about the Journées du Patrimoine is that it opens to the public places that are not normally accessible -- like the presidential palace or the Hôtel de Ville. There are also usually some tours like 'backstage at the opera' or 'the heart of the nuclear power plant'.

There are very long lines for the places that appeal the most to the public. For example, you can count on standing in line for 3 or 4 hours to see the Elysée. Minimum.

valtor Jul 30th, 2007 04:52 AM

You can find info at


The info is in French, but using Altavista Bebel Fish or Language Tools in Google you can have a translation (even far from perfect).

By the way, the dates are 15 and 16, and not 16 and 17.

Regarding Hotel de Ville, try to visit it, it is so beautiful and interesting! There is no need to wait for Journées du Patrimoine for this visit, you just call them by phone and book a visit there.

scat_cat Jul 30th, 2007 07:47 AM

Oh, right. I was looking at last year's dates. I'm assuming from the sketchy press release that more details will be available closer to the days themselves--in past years, has this information been available primarily online? I guess I can just show up at the Hotel de Ville, wait in line a few hours, and find out more from there. Merci beaucoup!

djkbooks Jul 30th, 2007 08:13 AM

Yes, you can just show up at Hotel de Ville (be sure to check both entrances for events), but it's better to have a schedule. Last year, there was a magnificent piano concert!

Another of our favorites was a visit inside Val de Grace.

At some point, the entire schedule is posted on the website, which you have to nagivate in French.


You can access the entire schedule (once it's up) and browse (for hours). Note that arrondissements are sorted starting with the 10th (or at least they were last year).

You can also just go to 182 rue Saint-Honoré on Monday (or after until Sunday) between 9:30 and 7PM and pick up a printed schedule. There are a lot of wonderful concerts (chansons!) in the parks.

Or, just wander looking for the signs (and lines).

Coquelicot Jul 30th, 2007 07:08 PM

Mid-August is when the Journees de patrimoine website is updated. We're waiting to see what's special that weekend before firming up our trip plans. Last year we walked to a former hermit's chapel deep in the woods and heard a didgeridoo. This year we're hoping to find an old bread oven in operation. Not in Paris, of course!

valtor Jul 30th, 2007 08:46 PM

Regarding Hotel de Ville, you can go there without early programation, ONLY during Journées du Patrimoine . If you want to visit it another day, you have to call in advance; the normal visits are not daily and not always at the same hour.

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