Parc de la Villette : Cité de la Musique

Metro : Porte de Pantin

The Porte de la Villette was in days gone by the capital of Parisian abattoirs and butchers. In the last few decades though it has become the focal point for music in Paris, thanks to the development of the Cité de la Musique. The famous Conservatoire Supérieur leaving its home since the 19th century on the rue de Madrid in 1990 for shining new premises here, designed by the architect Franck Hammoutène. Aside from the complete audio-visual library the grounds consist as well of an extraordinary museum of musical instruments, containing over 900 man-made pieces, some dating back thousands of years. It is even possible to listen to many of the instruments thanks to an available audio tour. The first instruments to be gathered were done so from pillaged royal collections during the French Revolution. The museum opened its doors much later, in 1861. One today can find both ancient masterpieces such as a Stradivarius and those more modern, a violin belonging to Stéphane Grappelli, a guitar from Django Reinhardt or a concert piano from Erard that Liszt once played. The Grande Halle de la Villette plays host once a year to the Salon de la Musique, once named Musicora. An immense concert hall of 1200 seats regularly welcomes a variety of musicians.

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Père-Lachaise Cemetery
Musée d'Orsay
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