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Bibliothèque Nationale de France - François Mitterrand

Attractions Quartier de la Gare
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Time Out says

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Opened in 1996, the new national library was the last and costliest of Mitterrand's grands projets. Its architect, Dominique Perrault, was criticised for his dated design, which hides readers underground and stores the books in four L-shaped glass towers.

He also forgot to specify blinds to protect books from sunlight; they had to be added afterwards. In the central void is a garden (filled with 140 trees, which were transported from Fontainebleau at enormous expense). The library houses over ten million volumes and can accommodate 3,000 readers.

The research section, just below the public reading rooms, opened in 1998. Much of the library is open to the public: books, newspapers and periodicals are accessible to anyone over 18, and you can browse through photographic, film and sound archives in the audio-visual section.

By: Anna Moreau



Address: 10 quai François Mauriac
Price: 1 day €3.30. 1 year €35; €18 reductions
Opening hours: 2-7pm Mon; 9am-7pm Tue-Sat; 1-7pm Sun
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