- Saint-Germain to les InvalidesIle-de-FranceNear to Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum
Victor Laloux (who had just finished the Tours town hall) was commissioned in 1898 to design a central train station in time for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. This was the Gare d'Orsay, or Orsay Station. The exterior's metallic structures were hidden by a stone facade in an eclectic style, while the interior was in itself an ode to modernism (new lift systems and baggage conveyor belts). Up until 1939 the Orsay Station was the main terminus of the national south-western line, at which point it was decided that the station's infrastructure was obsolete, as the platforms were too short for the new trains. In 1977 it was decided (under president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing) to transform the station into a museum of 19th century history. The former Gare d'Orsay was listed as a historic monument in 1978 and in December 1986 the new president, François Mitterrand, inaugurated this new Parisian museum. Today the Musée d'Orsay is home to paintings and sculptures which date from 1848, including a fabulous collection of impressionist works, displayed in a light and airy setting.
Access: for individual visitors, enter by quai Anatole France; for groups, the entrance is in rue de Lille
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