One of the most beautiful riverside buildings in Paris. The Institut de France was originally known as the College of Four Nations. It was completed in 1688 and is a fine example of neo classical architecture, complete with colonnades and topped with a cupola. Today it houses a number of academies of arts and sciences. It also contains the oldest library in France, the Bibliothèque Mazarine.
It stands prominently opposite the Louvre on the left bank, with the Pont des Arts leading directly to its main entrance. The only part open to the public is the library. Guided tours are available late in the day. The rest of the building is only open on European Heritage days in September.More