Get us in your inbox


Bibliothèque Nationale de France - François Mitterrand

  • Attractions
  • Quartier de la Gare
  • price 1 of 4
© Shutterstock

Time Out says

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.
Written by Anna Moreau


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

The best things in life are free.

Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

Loading animation
Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!