The Science Museum in Paris

Written by on January 7, 2017 in Museums and Châteaux, Paris

science-museum-paris

There is a shiny oasis in the north east corner of Paris that presents practical science for now and for all our futures. It is the largest science museum in Europe.  The ‘Cite’ des Sciences et de L’Industrie’ is a showcase of modern revolution and a capacious chasm depicting life beyond our present experience. About five million people pass through the Cite’ each year.

A futuristic science museum in Paris

This museum is in the Parc de la Villette and is one of over thirty Cultural Scientific Centres in France. The gleaming structure presents science and science culture to blend in exactly with present, forward looking and futuristic life. It does not really promote the mystery of scantily understood technical excellence from past decades but slots science into modern life.

This museum came to life in 1986. The physical structure is built around what were once large steel trusses that were intended to become an abattoir sales warehouse. Construction of this was halted in 1973. The conversion planning was designed by the architect and engineer Adrien Fainsilber and Peter Rice and the museum opened to mark the passage of the space probe Giotto with Halley’s Comet.

cite-des-sciences-et-de-lindustrie-paris

The building is impressive to view from outside. One of the principal features is a vast bioclimatic reserve. Three greenhouse areas are constructed of steel pillars, each 32 meters high and wide. ‘Les Serres’ were the first large glass structures having no frames or additional supporting features. Visitors will find at the rear of the building the most vast, highly reflective sphere. The activity going on in the parkland that it presides over is seen in distorted mirror reflection manner around the whole circumference.

What to see in the Science Museum in Paris

The museum internally is very open and airy not unlike a contemporary aircraft hangar. There are a number of levels linked by silent elevators. The floors contain many varied exhibitions, models, videos and technical demonstrations.

paris-science-museum-1

At ground level, the huge solar powered aircraft, Solar Impulse 1 dominates, loaned to the museum by its Swiss creators. It is the older sibling and prototype of the current impulse 2 type that has recently circumnavigated the planet using nothing but electricity generated by the sun.

This aircraft is supported by a simulator to provide people with the chance to experience its control. Children queue for hours to take their turn.

Spread throughout the floors of the Cite’ are contemporary videos depicting scientific concepts and the universe. There are many constantly changing exhibitions that can hold the attention for hours. Every aspect of modern science is represented with the accent always on the future rather than the past.

There are many areas where young children can play, observe and explore.  It is a museum about the future and what may be in store ultimately for us all, the planet and humanity and well worth a visit.

Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Bob Lyons is an ex-pilot turned travel writer with a penchant for all things French.

Related Articles

Top Museums in Strasbourg

Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, has a dozen museums. Many of them are in historic buildings like the Museum of History which is in a 16th century former slaughterhouse and a voodoo museum (yes you did read that right), in a water tower! There’s a varied range of exhibitions from antiquity to contemporary – something […]

Continue Reading

Great hotels in Paris

Great hotels in Paris

Written by on October 1, 2019 in Paris

With more than 2000 hotels to choose from in Paris, it’s not easy so we’ve done the hard work for you. Tried and tested, enjoy our pick of the best hotels in the city of light… Fabulous and chic in the Marais The 5 Star MGallery Hotel Paris Bastille Boutet (above) is close to the […]

Continue Reading

Visit to the Chateau de Versailles

When Louis XIV was pondering over how to create the most magnificent palace the world had ever seen, one that truly showed off his glory and absolute power, he can’t have had any idea just how many people would tread in his footsteps and gaze in wonder at his legacy. The Chateau de Versailles is […]

Continue Reading

Opera Garnier | Paris Opera House, mini-Versailles

Opera Garnier, Opera National de Paris or Palais Garnier, or more known commonly as the Paris Opera, whatever you call it, it’s generally considered to be one of the most important buildings in Paris. Opera Garnier | the Versailles of Opera Houses It’s actually not as old as you might think. In 1860, the city […]

Continue Reading

Mulhouse Train Museum | Cité du Train

When it comes to the Cité du train at Mulhouse, you don’t to be a train buff or train spotter, an anorak or a ferroequinologist (someone who studies trains) to get steamed up about a visit. This incredible museum is a fabulous place on so many levels. History, engineering, social history but overall – it’s […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top