Founded in 864, the Monnaie de Paris (French Mint) is simply the oldest factory in the world. Housed in a handsome neo-classical mint built in the 1770s, it has recently become the 11 Conti – Monnaie de Paris, a cultural must-see in Paris, embracing modernity alongside its historical heritage.
Several spaces stand in this structure, located close to Notre-Dame de Paris, Ile de la Cité and Pont Neuf. First, the stunning Palais is mainly used as an exhibition space for contemporary artists and a culture hub for Parisians. It opened in October 2014, after three years of works led by Philippe Prost. A high-profile program of temporary exhibitions that since the reopening has included Paul McCarthy or Maurizio Cattelan. Another highlight was the installation of Restaurant Guy Savoy, with three stars in the Guide Michelin, inside the salons on the first floor overlooking the Seine, remodeled for the occasion by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
But the biggest change came with the opening in September 2017 of the Musée du 11 Conti in the central parts of the building. The object of this new museum is to highlight the know-how of this millenary institution. Visitors can discover some art workshops in which 150 artisans are still working, some of the heritage collections and previously unseen treasures held by the Monnaie de Paris. It is also worth noting that an architectural visit through the courtyards of the building is possible for free (or with a guide to discover even more details about this fascinating place), allowing visitors to go from Odéon to the Louvre. Finally, do not hesitate to stop for a break in the café Frappé by Bloom, in the cour de la Méridienne.