Museums in Paris: Palais de la Porte Dorée

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The Palais de la Porte Dorée, located on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes, is a beautiful Parisian Art Deco monument, that houses two scientific and cultural projects: the Tropical Aquarium and the National Museum of the History of Immigration. Constructed in 1931 for the Paris Colonial Exhibition by the French architect Albert Laprade, this impressive place is off the beaten tourist path, but definitely worth visiting.

Museum of the history of immigration

The Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration (Museum of the History of immigration), is a museum opened in 2007 to provide a deeper understanding of the French colonial history and immigration to France. But, the first vocation of this museum was completely different. It was created to promote an image of Imperial France at the zenith of its power. Today, the mission of the Museum is to assemble and protect the history of immigrants and to make it accessible to the greatest number of people. The first temporary exhibition organized in this museum in 2008 was devoted to the situation of foreign and colonial immigrants in France from 1931. The permanent exhibition Repères (Markers) examines two centuries of immigration, in the space of over more than 1100m2 devoted primarily to the history and culture of immigrants in France, in multimedia form.

Tropical Aquarium

The Tropical Aquarium was created on the occasion of the Colonial Exposition in 1931 to show to the public the aquatic fauna of the French colonies. The renovation of the Aquarium was undertaken for the first time in 1985. The new installations were introduced, but the historical aspect of the site was preserved. Today, the Tropical Aquarium is a unique place in Paris where you can see over 5000 animals of over 300 species, from primitive fish to electric fish, from Asian waters to the faunas of Africa and South America, and also crocodiles, sharks and piranhas. This is a perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon with children by discovering the aquatic biodiversity.

Practical information

The Palais de la Porte Dorée (the Museum of the History of immigration and The Tropical Aquarium) is open from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 am to 5.30 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm. The entrance is free every first Sunday of the month. For children under the age of four, the entrance to the Tropical Aquarium is free, and every Friday in July the family treasure hunt is organised for children older than six years. From May 23 to August 22, the Aquarium and the Museum are open until 9 pm. After your visit, you can take a break and enjoy the ephemeral terrace of the Palace de la Porte Dorée.

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