Category Archives: Museums

The Pantheon in Paris, Episode 71

Pantheon-1474The Pantheon in Paris is a complicated building that started out as a Catholic Church dedicated to Sainte Geneviève, the Patron Saint of Paris, then under the French Revolution became a secular monument meant to honor French Revolutionaries, then grew to include famous authors, notable persons and patriots. It is the burial-place of French notables such as Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Louis Braille, Jean Jaurès, Marie Curie, and seventy-two more.

In this episode I give you some background on the Pantheon so you can decide if you’d like to visit it next time you’re in Paris. I also address some of the controversial topics having to do with the Pantheon. Why are there so few women in the Pantheon? Why were some people taken out of the Pantheon? What does it feel like visiting the Pantheon? Four new greats were introduced into the Pantheon in June 2015. Who are they?

I answer a listener question at the end of the show on how to get from CDG airport into Paris using public transportation. Instructions on how to get to the center of Paris from CDG Terminal 1, from CDG Terminal 2 Would love more questions, click here to ask your question!

RER B signAlso, for the first time today, the French Tip of the Week on how to ask for direction to the metro or RER in Paris.

Bonjour Monsieur, je cherche le métro. Pouvez-vous m’aider ?

Places mentioned on today’s show: Pantheon, Lycée Henri IV, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church, Jardins du Luxembourg, rue Souflot.

To prepare for your visit: Top 10 Paris

Triple dome of the Pantheon in Paris
Scale Model of the Triple Dome of the Pantheon in Paris
Pantheon in Paris Crypt
Pantheon in Paris Crypt
Pantheon in Paris Marie Curie
Pantheon in Paris Marie and Pierre Curie
Voltaire at the Pantheon in Paris
Voltaire at the Pantheon, a man whose wit I greatly appreciate.
Bust of Louis Braille at the Pantheon in Paris
Louis Braille who opened the doors of knowledge to blind people, and one of my personal heroes.


Chocolate Museum in Paris, Episode 70

chocolate museum in parisThe chocolate museum in Paris is not the only one you can visit in France (see Episode 47 for the one found in Bayonne), but in my opinion, if you can only visit one, this should be the one. Choco-story has something for everyone:

  • Children
  • Meso-America aficionados
  • Those who enjoy learning about the history of technology
  • Those who like pretty objects
  • And those, like me, who can’t wait to have their next bite of chocolate!

I wouldn’t say that this should be on everyone’s must-see list of Paris, but if you’ve visited Paris a few times and you’d like to see a museum that is easy to visit and enjoy, it’s a great choice. Let me hasten to say that I have no commercial relationship with this museum, I’m just sharing my opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the survey last week. If you didn’t have a chance to do it yet, I still need your feedback! Please download the file below and send back via email as instructed in the file.

Survey Questions


Chocolate Museum in Paris
Playmobil display at children’s eye level

chocolate museum in paris

Our Master Chocolatier


chocolate museum in paris
Trying various kinds of chocolate
chocolate museum in paris
Porcelain bonbonnières or candy box

Augustins and Abattoirs in Toulouse, Ep. 69

Augustins and Abattoirs in Toulouse
Musée des Augustins in Toulouse

Augustins and Abattoirs in Toulouse

Today Elyse tells us about two wonderful museums in Toulouse, the Augustin and the Abattoir Museums in Toulouse. These are two buildings that were re-purposed to be museums but they started out as a convent and a slaughter-house respectively. The Augustins was declared an art museum in 1793, which makes it the first museum open to the public anywhere in France, yes, even before the Louvre! How about that for a provincial city in the south-west of France? And, as a side benefit, it is also one the rare places in France where you can pet a gargoyle. We know you’ve always wanted to do that! The Abattoirs has a gruesome past, but it has been transformed into a peaceful place with a lovely garden near the Garonne River.

As you know, both Elyse and I live in Toulouse, so it’s a place that’s special to our hearts. If you’ve never seen Paris you must visit. But once you’ve seen Paris you really need to see Toulouse and go on a tour with Elyse!

To prepare your visit: Toulouse and Beyond Travel Guide

Places mentioned on the show this week: Musée des Augustins in Toulouse and Musée des Abattoirs in Toulouse.
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Treasure Hunt in the Louvre, Episode 63

Daisy de Plume, treasure hunt in the louvre
Daisy de Plume

Treasure Hunt in the Louvre

Today Annie interviews Daisy de Plume about her treasure hunt service in the Louvre. Going on a treasure hunt in the Louvre is a fantastic idea, especially if you are visiting with children!

Daisy is from New York originally and her goal is to get customers interested in the art and help them organize their visit in a fun way.  All the details are on Daisy’s website and of course we discuss the whole thing on the show.

While this treasure hunt in not exclusively designed for children, it does seem like a wonderful activity for families in particular.

Later in the show we discuss strikes in France and how they can be frustrating for visitors who don’t understand the French system. And since you never know if you’ll experience a French strike or not during your visit, it’s important for you to understand this background information.

Ready? Get set for your treasure hunt in the Louvre!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

To Prepare Your Trip: Everybody Bonjours!

Places discussed on the show: Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Latin Quarter.

If you like this episode, also listen to our introduction to the Louvre in Episode 21.

Support the show on Patreon.

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The Louvre Museum, Episode 21

The Louvre Museum in Paris

Louvre Museum courtyard and pyramid
Photo Benh Lieu Song

Let us take you to the Louvre Museum to explore the best way to visit such a huge museum.  Largest number of visitors in the world? Check! Second biggest the world? Check! Stunningly gorgeous? Definitely!

It is true that you could spend a few months in the Louvre Museum looking at everything and still not see it all. But don’t let that intimidate you. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves in this episode that will save you time and allow you to go to the art you have been longing to see.

If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to Episode 63 about doing a Treasure Hunt in the Louvre.

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Episode Highlights

  • Introduction: How did it get so big and famous?
  • Biggest in the world? Yes and no
  • The Louvre Museum as a building
  • Maps, Bathrooms, and Wheelchair Access
  • What If You Don’t Have Enough Time in Paris?
  • A Brief History of the Building
    • 1400s through the 1600s
    • Late 1600s
    • How the Louvre Became a Museum
    • Denis Diderot
    • French Revolution
    • Under Napoleon
  • Workshops
  • Collections
  • World War II
  • The most important wings
  • More on the collections
  • Annie’s complaint about the Mona Lisa
  • Get organized! This is how
  • The Pyramid by I.M.Pei
  • How to avoid the lines
  • How Much Time Should you Spend?
  • The Denon Wing
  • The Mona Lisa
  • The Carousel Shopping Mall and Louvre Entrance
    • Group entrance
  • Conclusion: don’t skip the Louvre, it is a marvelous experience! By checking out this podcast and preparing your visit, you are doing it right. Decide what art you’re most interested in ahead of time and make sure to see that. It is so big and has such rich collections, that we can say with certainty that there is a great find for everyone at the Louvre Museum!

Support the show on Patreon.

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The Orsay Museum, Episode 15

Orsay Museum: Van Gogh Painting
Night Over the Rhone River Valley by Van Gogh

The Orsay Museum in Paris

On today’s episode Elyse takes us to the wonderful Musée
d’Orsay in the heart of Paris. The Orsay is a favorite of
Americans and for good reason: you will see more impressionist
and post-impressionist here than anywhere else in the world.
Manet, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, they are all
there and they’re all magnificent. This is the museum for both
people who normally don’t visit art museums, and for the
sophisticated art connoisseurs. Have you been? Did you love it? Are you still undecided? We help you think it through on this episode.
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