Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pompidou Center

Our Marais walk down Rue St. Antoine on Kelly's birthday ended with an afternoon coffee at the museum of Modern Art, completed in 1977 and named after George Pompidou.  Wildly modern, with an exoskeletal architecture where all its functional parts--the various water pipes, heating ducts electrical conduits and even the escalator--are on the outside of the building, painted in various colors.  The inside is one big space on multiple floors that can be arranged and rearranged for various expositions of modern artists.  People either hate it or love the contrast to the older and more predictable buildings of Paris.

The colors of the pipes are assigned to their various uses, so the blue pipes are water,  the red ones are electricity, white is air conditioning, etc.

There's a traveling Matisse exhibit on display now.  However, we were eager to have cafe at the spectacular King George Cafe on the roof.

It's a tea party!  No need for the waiter to hurry--we are enjoying the views!

To the north is Sacre Coeur on the butte (such a good Montana word) of Montmartre.  It was certainly a beautiful clear day!

To the south east, with a view through the museum's superstructure, is the Hotel de Ville which today serves as the administrative headquarters of the city of Paris.  It has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357.  This building was built in 1533.  Beyond the Hotel de Ville in the distance is the Montparnasse Tower, a modern building with grand views of Paris, particularly at night.

Looking to the south we see the towers and spire of Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite, and the dome of the Pantheon across the Seine in the Latin Quarter near the Sorbonne. 

A closer view of the Hotel de Ville--

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