Orangerie Mini trip report

Jun 1st, 2006, 07:44 AM
  #1  
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Orangerie Mini trip report

Since there have been alot of questions about the Orangerie I thought I would post my experience.

My goal was to visit the gift shop only. My mom has always wanted to go to the Orangerie and I will be traveling to the US next week so I thought a belated mothers day gift was in order. As I live here I planned to visit the museum after the crowds subsided. I went to the museum on Monday. There was a HUGE line. I mean really huge and moving slowly. I walked up to the front and past everyone with the intent of just going in the gift shop. I was stopped by the guy manning the line. I inquired about the gift shop and was told it was AFTER you give your ticket so you cant access without visiting the collection. Sigh.

The next day I went to the FNAC and purchased a reservation for 2 pm today. You can buy a reservation for no earlier than the two days later (not including days of closure). Your reservation allows you to enter the museum beginning at the reservation time and within one hour pas that time. I showed up about 2:15 and walked by the zillions of people in line all the way up to the front. When you get to the front there is a seperate area for reservations and museum passes. There was no one in the reservation line and I was promptly let in much to the annoyance of those at the front of the other line. I will have to admit taking a little bit of pleasure in being whisked right in.

The museum is magnificient. The water lilly paintings were a true marvel. The installation is beautiful and the natural light is a big plus. I also noted that they did not allow too many people at once in the museum. So, though it was busy, it was not packed which allows you to enjoy the paintings. I then proceeded downstairs to see the rest of the collection. It's an outstanding collection with many incredible works from picasso, monet, renoir, modigliani etc You can also see a bit of the old fortified wall that caused the delay of the opening.

They have a theatre with a film that talks about the renovation of the Orangerie. It is in French with no subtitles. I did watch the film as it was very interesting. I learned that the entire building was completely gutted. There was basically a frame left holding up the glass roof. Everything else was removed. The water lilly paintings, as most of you probably know, were left in the building during demolition and reconstruction as they could not be moved. Seeing the way the paintings were incased and verified regularly was very interesting.

Not only did they gut the original building but they also dug a large lower level that is about twice the size of the structure above ground. This is where they ran into the wall that caused the delay of the opening. It ran right through the planned lower level, cutting it in two. The project was immediately suspended while a decision was made concerning the wall. After much debate (almost two years) they decided to remove a portion of the wall so they could maintain the original plan and integrate the remainder.

I am not surprised that the project took many years and it so extensive. The result is an amazing small museum with an incredible collection that I would recommend.
MorganB is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 07:49 AM
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I can't wait to visit this museum (again) when I am in Paris in December. thanks for the report, and good to know about the advanced tickets at FNAC.
LoriNY1 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 07:50 AM
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Thank you for that report! The museum is back on the top of my list (with the word reservations next to it).
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Thank you so much for the report. That was very helpful. We'll be in Paris next week and the Orangerie was on the top of my list of "must sees." Now I know to plan ahead!
emvic is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Thanks Morgan
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:34 AM
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Thanks Morgan,
I notice is it still friendlier here than on the other forum you posted as well.... ;-)
cocofromdijon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Thank you so much for the report. It's definitely at the top of my 'next' trip to Paris!!!
amyb is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Thank you so much for posting this report. I've been wanting to visit the Orangerie for years and wondered when, or if, it would reopen. Sounds like it was worth the wait.

It is nice to be "whisked" past the long lines. I remember standing in a very long line on a chilly, damp day to see the Matisse/Picasso exhibit and envying the people who walked right by us to the entrance. So -- I will definitely get reservations for the Orangerie.
Luisah is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:55 AM
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Thanks for the report, Morgan. I'm glad that they still accept the Museum pass (the museum is still listed as closed on their site).

I can't wait to see it...only a few more weeks--yippee! I hope your mom liked her gift~
mvor is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Thanks for the report! Probably a dumb question - but if you have the museum pass, do you still need to make reservations?
cls2paris is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 10:21 AM
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MorganB,

Thanks so much for a wonderful report. I have been wanting to visit l'Orangerie for years. Now that I'm living here, and it's finally open again, it's going to happen.

I'm at the end of a project that will finish in July, and, although it's art-related, the irony is that it has kept me from seeing things that I would like to see. The timing is great. (Look for me in line at FNAC.)

Again, thanks for your mini-report and for all the practical info.

Toupary is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Morgan, Thanks for the heads up. Can I ask what FNAC is and how I contact them (or do I have to go there in person?) We will arrive in Paris Sunday evening and leave Wed. morning so we have a short window of opportunity for a reservation.
pegprescott is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 10:43 AM
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thanks, Morgan, I'll be in Paris in July so maybe I can get that reservation.

FNAC is a large book/electronics/CD store in France (although they now have them in some other countries, also, like Spain). There are a couple main stores in Paris, as well as some smaller FNAC sites that just sell tickets and some other minor stuff. The main FNAC stores I know are one on rue de Rennes just a couple blocks north of Montparnasse metro stop, one on Champs Elysees not far from the Virgin Records, and one right next to the Bastille opera house (that one doesn't have books, as I recall).

They have a website where you can order tickets, but I think it's only in French. www.fnac.com Also, it sounds like there is a time limit in-between the order and pickup. The ticket agencies at FNAC aren't usually that busy that you can't go there. I've never had that long a wait at them.
Christina is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 11:18 AM
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There is a FNAC with a ticketing office at 77 blvd St Germain, just off blvd St Michel.
Travelnut is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 11:37 AM
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okay, question for Morgan -- I was just on the FNAC website as I was looking for tickets for something else. And, I saw the section for l'Orangerie reservations (which are 7.8 euro for adults as I recall, less for children). However, they allowed me to selection a reservation time for any date up through the end of July. I didn't check farther than that. I didn't see any notice that you could only do it two days in advance. I even clicked on a date at the end of July to see what would happen, and they put it in my shopping cart.

Now, I bailed at that point as I do have a FNAC account and didn't want to accidentally buy something I didn't want and have it charged to me, but I didn't see any limitation on advance dates.
Christina is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:26 PM
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Wow all thanks! Glad you all enjoyed the report. Christina, I was trying to say in an unclear fashion that you cant buy ticket for the next day. You can only buy them for two days out or more. You can book online at www.fnac.com in french or at www.francebillet.com in english.
MorganB is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 02:55 AM
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Morgan - repeating an earlier question - if you have a museum pass do you also need reservations? Thanks! Headed to Paris on June 12 and looking forward to this museum.
cindyj is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 03:01 AM
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Topping
Intrepid1 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 04:21 AM
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when you get into the museum, how many hours would you say you could spend there?

Melissa
MelissaBeckoff is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 04:37 AM
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Appreciate the report, MorganB. Eager, too, to hear if you can confirm that you can enter w/out a reservation if you have the museum pass.
Janeyre is offline  

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