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French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)

#210 of 1,057 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: quai Francois Mauriac | 13e, 75706 Paris, France
Phone Number: +33 1 53 79 59 59

This modern glass and chrome masterpiece standing on the banks of the Seine...

This modern glass and chrome masterpiece standing on the banks of the Seine River is also one of the largest research libraries in the world.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 158 reviews
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Good Temporary Exhibits

We've been here many times to view the temporary exhibits on the subjects of French history and art. Some are free. Come and form your own opinion of the modern architecture of... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
Thomas V
Oakland, California
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158 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 41: English reviews
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
444 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We've been here many times to view the temporary exhibits on the subjects of French history and art. Some are free. Come and form your own opinion of the modern architecture of France's major investment in a new library. You might want to avoid the outdoor plaza on a windy or rainy day as it is downright dangerous and a... More 

Thank Thomas V
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
1,017 reviews
788 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2016

Nice place for a walk. As it was next to the bus station, then I had to cross it to reach the city. I wish I had had more time to explore this place, seemed to be cool.

Thank g_marianaa
Paris, France
Level Contributor
279 reviews
130 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2016

Inaugurated in December 1996, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France - architect D. Perrault - is a resolutely contemporary architecture made of wood, glass and steel. It is arranged around a central garden and consists schematically of a vast rectangular base forming an esplanade and four square towers on the corners. At the top of the garden, the Bibliothèque offers 1,600... More 

1 Thank yvesganansia
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
654 reviews
295 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 250 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2016

This show displays how Kiefer uses the theme of books in his art works. The exhibition covers two large halls and complements the much larger show running concurrently at the Pompidou Museum. The artist is versatile and inventive but some of the more esoteric endeavors become repetitive.

Funchal, Portugal
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2015

Designed by the Architect Dominique Perrault. The 4 towers symbolise 4 opened books and simultaneously book shelves facing the lower level forest area protected as a shield box, making it inaccessible and untouchable, as something incomparably valuable, and for that reason can not be touched to not harm.

2 Thank Murteiras_Apartment
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
167 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2015

To get to the books and research levels you need to be a member. But we had a great time seeing the 20 foot globes form the 1600's and all of the lectures and talks and exhibits that were available.

Thank SIngDelaware
Level Contributor
106 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2015

We sought out the Bibliotheque Nacional because it hosted a small and fine exhibit of works by Anselm Keifer, a favorite painter and sculptor. The gallery space is nicely lit, wide-open and very apt for a small show of large-scale objects like this one. The library is obviously very well-used, with a ticketing system for scholars to enter the stacks... More 

Thank Rebrites
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2015

I thought the Library of Congress was large but France has it beat. Four large towers are connected to house an enormous collection of books and exhibits. Easy to get to by metro (Francois Mitterand stop) and a short 2 block walk and you are there. The guards are helpful and directed us to the permanent globes of Louis XIV.... More 

Thank beadknitter
Level Contributor
640 reviews
256 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2015 via mobile

As a university scholar I have been nearly everywhere in this library. You can only visit the basement where the researchers work on special guide tours and on the heritage day in September, but you can visit the next level. This is where the exhibitions take place. It is quite interesting to walk around this place, but it is not... More 

Thank fitzbenedict
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2015

I knew nothing about this place beforehand except that the buildings were designed to look like open books. I'm glad I didn't know, because I was surprised by the massive stairs leading up from the Seine, the huge expanse of wooden decking, and the incredible sunken forest. I wish we had such beautiful open public spaces where I live!

Thank SoOnTarget

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