Heritage Days 2023: 5 Power Spots to Visit in Paris Without Reservation

The 40th edition of the Heritage Days will take place this weekend. Several places of power or representing institutions can be visited in Paris, on Saturday, September 16th and Sunday, September 17th, without the need for reservations.

The Senate – Luxembourg Palace

Several institutions of the Republic logically welcome the public this weekend. This is once again the case of the Luxembourg Palace, the seat of the Senate, which opens its doors on Saturday and Sunday, free access from 9 am to 5 pm. This is an opportunity to visit the hemicycle or to observe the painted ceilings by Eugène Delacroix in the library. The National Assembly can be visited by reservation and is fully booked, as well as the Elysée and Matignon. However, it is possible to visit the National Assembly outside of the Heritage Days upon registration, as 75,000 places have been opened to the general public every day in September, and then every evening, Saturdays and holidays.

Senate – Luxembourg Palace, Entrance Place Paul Claudel Porte Odéon, Paris (6th), open on Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

The Ministry of Sports

With the prospect of the Olympic Games this summer, the 40th edition of Heritage Days will honor sports. For the first time, the Ministry of Sports, Olympic and Paralympic Games will welcome the general public and offer numerous activities over two days. Among them: demonstrations and initiations of breakdance, a new Olympic discipline.

Ministry of Sports, 95 avenue de France, Paris (13th), open on Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, free admission, identity card required.

The Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture also opens its doors all weekend, offering the opportunity to discover the office of Minister Rima Abdul-Malak, stroll through the reception halls, or enjoy the contemporary artworks housed in the ministry. In addition to the visit, a treasure hunt is offered to young visitors. The highlight of the festivities is a free acrobatic aerial performance that can be viewed from among the Buren columns in the courtyard of the Palais Royal, on the rooftops and walkways of the building. This performance is organized starting this Friday at 7 pm, and then on Saturday and Sunday, with two performances per day, at 5 pm and 7 pm. It is necessary to arrive 1 hour before the start of the performances.

Ministry of Culture, Palais-Royal, 3 rue de Valois, Paris 1st. Open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 3:45 pm, free admission.

The Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honor

It is within its walls that the administration of French distinctions, including the Legion of Honor, the highest national honorary decoration, takes place. The institution exceptionally opens its doors to the public this weekend. Visitors can explore the salons, the office of the grand chancellor, the council room where the decorations are deliberated, and the Legion of Honor museum. This distinction was created by Napoleon in 1802 and is awarded, on average, to 2,500 individuals each year to recognize the most deserving citizens.

Grand Chancellery, 64 rue de Lille, Paris (7th). Open on Saturday from 1 pm to 6 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, free admission.

The Commercial Court of Paris

Listed as a historical monument, the Paris Commercial Court, located on the Île de la Cité and built in 1865, also offers the opportunity to discover its most emblematic places during guided tours by judges, on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. The program includes a stroll that allows you to admire its double-revolution staircase restored in 2021, as well as its Art Deco and Empire style decorations, while familiarizing yourself with the role and missions of the judges who work there. Just a stone’s throw away, the Conciergerie, the former residence of the kings of France until the end of the 14th century, which later became a prison during the Revolution with Marie-Antoinette as its most illustrious prisoner, also organizes free visits on Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Commercial Court of Paris, 1 quai de la Corse, Paris 4th, free 45-minute guided tours without reservations, from 10 am to 4 pm.

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