Sound exploration in the former Gare des Mines
To the north of Paris, built on the remains of a former coal station, La Station – Gare des Mines has become a festive stomping ground for France's capital, with outdoor concerts, underground gatherings and evening events devoted to queer culture. During the European Heritage Days, on 15 September 2018 the venue will be putting on a series of unique and free events. Artists, acousticians and researchers will be sharing sound heritage – music, traditional song – through conferences, workshops, commented listening sessions and concerts. Settled into the industrial decor, you can listen as Madeleine Leclair, ethnomusicologist, discusses her work on lullabies and trance music. It will be a musical moment you will not want to miss.
La Station – Gare des Mines
29 avenue de la porte d'Aubervilliers
+33 (0)9 73 26 11 47
Saturday 15 September 2018, 2–8pm
Contemporary art at the UNESCO Headquarters
UNESCO House, located in the seventh arrondissement and just a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower, is a legendary place where you can admire a collection of unique artwork that bears witness to the world's artistic diversity. These masterpieces, both inside and outside the building, were offered by several member states. It is a rare occasion to see The Fall of Icarus, a gigantic 90-square-metre fresco by Pablo Picasso. All along the unique route, you will see countless paintings and sculptures by famous artists such as Joan Miró, Erró, Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi. More than 500 works of art can be found there. After this contemporary art immersion, you will continue your contemplative stroll to the Japanese garden, one of the most beautiful to be found in Paris.
Maison de l'UNESCO
7 place de Fontenoy
Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September 2018, 10am–6pm
Meet history at the Bibliothèque Sainte-Barbe
Embark on an exclusive visit at the heart of the Latin quarter at the former Sainte-Barbe middle school (originally founded in 1460) that was converted into an inter-university library. You will be impressed by the decorative architecture of the buildings that were rebuilt in the 19th century and listed among the city's historical monuments. Some of the world's biggest names in history studied there: among them, one of France's most important socialist figures, Jean Jaurès. In the drawing room with its high metallic arches, be sure to take a look at the fine terra cotta bas-reliefs that tell the history of the place. You are sure to leave feeling inspired.
4 rue Valette
+3(0)1 56 81 76 00
Saturday 15 September, 10am–6pm
Puppets take centre stage at Théâtre Mouffetard
Stay in the Latin quarter and head over to the Théâtre Mouffetard, a unique institution in France. There, all forms of contemporary puppet arts take centre stage, from performances to writing, visual arts and dance. During the European Heritage Days, you can enjoy a free showing of the documentary L'Afrique collectionnée directed by Christian Lajoumard. In it, the director explores the African art of puppets and statuettes to give viewers a better understanding of the symbolism of these objects. It is a fascinating cultural discovery.
Le Mouffetard – Théâtre des arts de la marionnette
73 rue Mouffetard
+33 (0)1 84 79 44 44
Saturday 15 September at 6pm
A taste of imperialism at the Maison Walewska
Dive into Napoleonic history in one of the chicest neighbourhoods of Boulogne-Billancourt to the west of the City of Light. At no. 7 rue de Montmorency, you can visit an elegant townhouse built in Directoire style with forms inspired by Ancient Rome. This magnificent residence, listed as a national monument and once home to Napoleon I's mistress Marie Walewska (aka “the Polish wife”), will immediately win you over with its sumptuous crown mouldings and frescos. As you enter the large receiving room with its sculpted columns, you can practically feel the presence of the Emperor who loved to walk around this “love nest”, as he liked to call this charming place far from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Outside, enjoy a romantic ramble through the superb gardens. You will remember these European Heritage Days in Paris for years to come.
7 rue de Montmorency
Saturday 15 September, 11am–12pm / 3–4pm