I travel as much as possible at home and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences
Published January 12th 2014
Enjoy modern art and street performance
Not far from the famous marketplace of Les Halles and the Church of Saint-Merri is the Pompidou Centre, which contains a public library, a specialised research library (Kandinsky Library), and the IRCAM, a centre for music and scientific research. The major reason for visiting the centre, however, is the National Museum of Modern Art, which is the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe.
The nearby Stravinsky Fountain (or Fontaine des Automates), contains sixteen mechanical sculptures designed by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle. The colourful fountains take their inspiration from the adjacent Modern Art museum and from the major works of Stravinsky, including fountains that represent the key of G, love and death, ragtime, and various animals.
L'oiseau de feu (Firebird) by Niki de Saint Phalle. Photo by Erin Connelly.
The courtyard outside the centre is famous for attracting various street performers, such as mimes, jugglers, acrobats, dancers, and caricature artists. During the high tourist seasons of the spring and summer, these performers are organised into small carnivals accompanied with food and music and souvenirs. When I visited, there was a daring group of fire juggling acrobats who were so captivating and professional that they managed to draw the large crowds away from the famous landmarks of the centre.
Stravinsky Fountain and the Church of Saint-Merri. Photo by Erin Connelly.
The Pompidou Centre is open every day except Tuesdays and May 1. The libraries operate according to different schedules and admission requirements, which are available on the official website. Museum entrance costs 13 or 11 depending on time.
Mechanical and Whimsical Sculptures of the Stravinsky Fountain. Photo by Erin Connelly.